Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Polymer May Allow Soldiers With Artificial Limbs To Feel Heat, Cold, Touch

Date:
October 26, 2009
Source:
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Summary:
Current prosthetics may look natural, but they're still primitive -- offering patients no real neurological control other than opening or closing their hand. But for U.S. soldiers who have lost arms and hands in the battlefield, two new studies may bring "real" feeling to artificial limbs.

Current prosthetics may look natural, but they're still primitive -- offering patients no real neurological control other than opening or closing their hand. But for U.S. soldiers who have lost arms and hands in the battlefield, two new studies may bring "real" feeling to artificial limbs.

Physicians at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2009 conference, Oct. 23-27, in Seattle, reveal they have discovered an electrically conducting molecule or polymer (3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene or PEDOT) that helps stimulate and grow new nerve fibers in severed nerves of amputees. Stimulating and growing nerve fibers are one of the first steps in providing amputees more neurologic control over their prosthetics.

The research, conducted through a $5.5 million U.S. Department of Defense grant, may give amputees the ability to move fingers independently, apply the appropriate amount of pressure to objects to better grab and lift something as delicate as Styrofoam cup, and feel sensation.

In one study, plastic surgeons may have found a way to successfully grow new nerve fibers, after they've been severed due to injury, through the electrically conducting PEDOT polymer. PEDOT functions similar to a wire. In the study, the PEDOT was placed in a tube, along with other biologic and synthetic materials, and grafted into the severed leg nerve of a rat. New nerve fibers grew and took over function for the dead or dysfunctional severed nerve springing targeted muscles to life.

In another study, plastic surgeons designed a cup containing cells and muscle that fits around the severed leg nerve of a rat. The PEDOT polymer was wrapped around all of the cells and muscle in the cup to provide an electrical charge. Tests were conducted 114 days after the procedure. The study found new muscle and blood vessels formed, nerve fibers sprouted, and muscle fibers started compensating for lost nerves. After tickling the rat's paw, doctors' were able to pick up electrical signals indicating sensation had returned.

Nearly 5 million reconstructive plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2008, up 7 percent from 2007, reports the ASPS.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Polymer May Allow Soldiers With Artificial Limbs To Feel Heat, Cold, Touch." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091025194629.htm>.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons. (2009, October 26). Polymer May Allow Soldiers With Artificial Limbs To Feel Heat, Cold, Touch. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091025194629.htm
American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Polymer May Allow Soldiers With Artificial Limbs To Feel Heat, Cold, Touch." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091025194629.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) More than 269 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Many of them will need surgery and radiation, but there’s a new simple way to reconstruct tissue using a patient’s own fat. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood Clots in Kids

Blood Clots in Kids

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Every year, up to 200,000 Americans die from a blood clot that travels to their lungs. You’ve heard about clots in adults, but new research shows kids can get them too. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Doctors have used radio frequency ablation or RFA to reduce neck and back pain for years. But now, that same technique is providing longer-term relief for patients with severe knee pain. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins