Temperature-sensitive prosthetic limb improves amputee dexterity and feelings of human connection

Sensory feedback is important for amputees to be able to explore and interact with their environment. Now, researchers have developed a device that allows amputees to sense and respond to temperature by delivering thermal information from the prosthesis' fingertip to the amputee's residual limb. The 'MiniTouch' device uses off-the-shelf electronics, can be integrated into commercially available prosthetic limbs, and does not require surgery. Using the thermally sensitive prosthetic hand, a 57-year-old transradial amputee was able to discriminate between and manually sort objects of different temperatures and sense bodily contact with other humans.