Technology that restores touch to damaged nerves

פיתוח חדש שמחזיר חישה בעצב פגוע (צילום: אוניברסיטת ת"א)

New technology from the University of Tel Aviv will help people who have lost touch to the nerves of various organs due to amputation or injury. The technology tested in the model animal includes a small sensor attached to the nerve of the injured organ in the finger, which is directly connected to a normal nerve, which activates the sensor and transmits an electric current to the healthy nerve whenever the organ touches another object. Researchers say that this is a “healthy” technology that is compatible with the human body and can be placed anywhere on the body. The study was published in the popular journal ACS Nano.

As part of technological development, researchers have created a sensor that can be placed on a damaged nerve under the fingertip, giving the transplant recipient some sensing ability on the finger. Unique development does not require an external source of power, such as electricity or batteries. The researchers explain that the sensor actually works on friction: it charges itself whenever the device experiences a collision.

Technology that inspires hope in fighting the wounded | Photo: Tel Aviv University
Israeli development that can improve the lives of the wounded (Photo: T. University"A)
Development that supports amputees | Photo: Tel Aviv University

The neuro prosthesis sector has been promising in recent years that the installation of sensors to replace damaged nerves will improve the lives of those who have lost consciousness. But current technology has many shortcomings, such as complex construction and use, and the need for an external source of power, such as a battery. Currently, researchers at the University of Tel Aviv are using a state-of-the-art technology called Tribo Electric Nano Generator (TENG) to engineering and test animals using a small sensor model that senses direct current from a healthy designer without the need for complex implantation or charging.

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Two members from Tel Aviv University: Dr. from the Faculty of Medicine and the Micro Surgery Unit in Sheba. Dr. Ameer Arami, Purple School, Department of Biomedical Engineering; Neuroscience. “We talked about the challenges in our work,” Dr. Arami shared, “He shared with me how difficult it is to treat people who lose the ability to recognize one or another organ as a result of an injury. It must have been from the minor to realize that this is a very extensive injury.” Although the wound can heal and the injured nerve can be cut, in many cases the sensation remains impaired.

Dr. Ben Mao: “Talent improves quality of life” | Photo: Tel Aviv University

Friendly and does not require maintenance

These are two small boards from half an inch to less than half an inch. When these boards are in contact with each other, they emit an electrical charge that transmits to a healthy nerve. In this way, when the injured finger touches something, the pressure emitted by the device exerts a touch tension – weak tension to weak touch and strong tension to strong touch – just like normal sensation. According to the researchers, the device can be attached anywhere in the body, where it requires a touch of touch, and it bypasses damaged sensory organs. In addition, the material from which the device is made is hard and friendly to the human body, it does not require maintenance, the transplant is simple and the device itself is not visible from the outside.

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The technology was developed by a team of experts at Tel Aviv University: Dr. Dr. Ben Maos, Yiftaq Shlomi, Dr. Shay Diolad, Biomedical Engineering. Dr. from the Sacral Faculty of Neuroscience and Medicine. From Amir Arami, Microsurgery Unit, Hand Surgery Unit, Sheba Medical Center.

Dr. According to Mao, after testing the new sensor in the lab (more than half a million finger taps with the device), the researchers attached it to the model’s feet. The animals walked normally without damage to the motor. Nerves and tests showed that the sensor could respond. “We tested our development on model animals and the results were very encouraging,” said Drs. Mao concludes. “Next we want to test the implant on larger models – and then – place our sensors on the fingers of people who have lost their sensing ability. This ability can significantly improve performance and quality of life: protect us from danger.” They can not feel their finger being broken or burned or frozen. “

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