Three men get bionic hands Milorad Marinkovic shows his bionic arm (AP photos)
Three men get bionic hands
Lexile

Three Austrians have replaced their injured hands with bionic ones. They can control the artificial hands by using nerves and muscles. Those were transplanted into their arms from their legs.

The three men are the first to undergo what doctors refer to as "bionic reconstruction." It includes a voluntary amputation. That is the transplantation of nerves and muscles and learning to use faint signals from them to command the hand.

Previously, people with bionic hands have primarily controlled them with manual settings.

"This is the first time we have bionically reconstructed a hand," said Dr. Oskar Aszmann. He is with the Medical University of Vienna. He developed the approach with colleagues. "If I saw these kinds of patients five to seven years ago, I would have said, 'there's nothing I can do for you.'"

He said while some patients might be candidates for a hand transplant, that has its own complications. They include having to take anti-rejection medicines for the rest of their lives.

Aszmann and colleagues described the cases of the three men in a report. It was published online in the journal Lancet. The men decided on amputation only after having the bionic hand strapped onto their injured hand. They wanted to see how the robotic one might function.

Milorad Marinkovic, 30, lost the use of his right hand in a motorbike accident. That was more than 10 years ago. The bionic hand has allowed him to hold things. This includes a sandwich or a bottle of water. More importantly, it allows him to play with his three children.

"I can throw things. But it is harder to catch a ball. My right hand is still not quite as quick and natural (as my left)," said the Vienna based-clerk.

Dr. Simon Kay performed Britain's first hand transplant. He said there would always be major limits to bionic hands. He pointed out that the brain has thousands of ways to send messages to the human hand. But a robotic prosthetic can't handle such complexity.

"The question is always going to be: How do we get the message from the mind to the metal?" he said.

Patients like Marinkovic, however, have few complaints about the bionic hand. It proved especially popular with his son. When he first got the device, his son, then 4, would put on the bionic hand. Then he'd proudly walk around with it. He would tell other kids in his kindergarten class that "my father is a robot."

Marinkovic says using his bionic hand is nearly as natural as using his uninjured hand.

"I can do almost everything with it. I just don't have any feeling in it."

Aszmann estimated the new procedure costs around $33,960.

Critical thinking challenge: Explain the meaning of this task: "Getting the message from mind to metal"

Assigned 39 times


COMMENTS (10)
  • PowellWilliam-DiB
    3/02/2015 - 04:09 p.m.

    That is so cool, not only can they help themselves but they can also help other people. People don't have to use the wooden hands that they can't do anything with. They can actually use their replaced hands.

  • Arnavk-Cla
    3/02/2015 - 05:05 p.m.

    ms Clarkson is awesome to let me do homework online.It is weird to have a bionic arm

  • Arnavk-Cla
    3/02/2015 - 05:10 p.m.

    ms Clarkson is awesome to let me do homework online.It is weird to have a bionic arm

  • John0724-YYCA
    3/02/2015 - 09:53 p.m.

    This is also very cool and very dangerous at the same time because it is very cool to have a bionic arm but it is dangerous because the arm may have some problem and it could self destruct. This man maybe really happy but wait until something turns wrong and the thing is going to get broken or something.

  • vivianf-Opi
    3/04/2015 - 03:06 p.m.

    I cant believe this man came up with a bionic hand but no one can find a cure to cancer. But still this is amazing!

  • william1108-yyca
    3/06/2015 - 09:35 p.m.

    It sort of sounds weird to have a bionic hand or arm. It is cool how a person used their own injured hand to use it as a bionic hand. I wonder if his hand falls off when someone throws him a ball on his bionic hand and I also wonder how it feels to have a hand like that and how long you have to have a bionic arm. I never want to injure my hand or any thing else so i don't get a bionic arm. Although it does seem cool to see a person to have a bionic arm. any how I still don't think I want a bionic arm.

  • william1108-yyca
    3/06/2015 - 09:36 p.m.

    It sort of sounds weird to have a bionic hand or arm. It is cool how a person used their own injured hand to use it as a bionic hand. I wonder if his hand falls off when someone throws him a ball on his bionic hand and I also wonder how it feels to have a hand like that and how long you have to have a bionic arm. I never want to injure my hand or any thing else so i don't get a bionic arm. Although it does seem cool to see a person to have a bionic arm. any how I still don't think I want a bionic arm.

  • ArelyO-Saw
    3/25/2015 - 01:11 p.m.

    thats cool i wish i had i biodick hnds i wish people maid some for people that did not have hand i cant belive it

  • damienm-Cut
    3/31/2015 - 11:02 a.m.

    I think that's great that those guys got there life back like Leo he got his arm crushed by a beam but now he got his arm and he is happy hopefully those guys are to

  • damienm-Cut
    3/31/2015 - 11:06 a.m.

    I think that's great that those guys got there life backs like this guy Leo his arm got crushed by a beam but now he has a bionic arm so he happy now hopefully those guys are too.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT