Self-powered implants may restore tactile sensation to injured fingers

When someone injures a nerve in a part of the body, such as a finger, it is not uncommon for that part to have a permanent loss of tactile sensation. However, self-powered embedded sensors may one day regain sensitivity to such injured areas.

The experimental device, created by a team at Tel Aviv University in Israel, is intended to be surgically implanted under the skin of injured body parts such as fingertips that lack tactile sensation. However, it can be used in other areas as well.

It incorporates what is known as Friction electric nanogenerator, Or TENG for short.Simply put, TENG produces an electric charge through two different frictions. dielectric Material – An example is the static charge generated by shuffling the sock’s foot carpet.

The sensor TENG consists of two square plates placed one above the other, with a small gap between them. Each plate is made of a different flexible material and each side is less than 0.5 cm long.

When your fingertips touch the surface, pressure is applied to TENG. This causes the two plates to come into contact with each other and generate an electric charge. Current is carried along the insulated wire to an electrode cuff wrapped around the end of an adjacent undamaged nerve.

The nerve then relays electrical signals to the central nervous system, so that the brain records the tactile sensations of the fingertips. The greater the pressure on the TENG, the greater the charge released and the stronger the sensation.

In laboratory studies conducted in rats, the sensor was reported to be able to restore tactile sensation to the hind paw, where the nerve was previously amputated, allowing the animal to walk normally again.

“Then we’ll test the implant in a larger model and later implant the sensor in the fingers of people who have lost the ability to sense tactile sensations,” says Chief Scientist Dr. Ben M. Maoz. .. “Restoring this ability can significantly improve people’s functioning and quality of life, and more importantly, protect them from danger. People who lack tactile sensation have their fingers crushed. I can’t feel it’s burned, burned, or frozen. “

This study has been published in a recently published treatise. ACS Nano..

Source: Tel Aviv University via Eurek Alert Self-powered implants may restore tactile sensation to injured fingers

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