Ground-breaking medical developments made by Dutch researcher
A medical researcher at TU Delft has made one of the most important recent developments in the field of prosthetics. During the course of his PhD programme, Gerwin Smit created what is now termed the "Delft Cylinder Hand."
Smit says that he was motivated by the fact that one in five of individuals who require a prosthetic limb choose not to do so. This is because of a series of problems with the current models, which includes "low user comfort (too heavy, too hot), too few functional advantages and a lack of sensory feedback."
But he may have erased this problem with his new prosthetic hand: "It's all about the three Cs: cosmetics, comfort and control. The prosthesis needs to be attractive to look at, comfortable to wear and easy to operate."
His "Delft Cylinder" model is body-powered, and has hydraulically-operated, hinged fingers. The hand can be operated more easily than current prosthetics thanks to its lightweight material, shoulder harness and miniature cylinders.
Following the success of initial trials, where participiants were able to easily use tweezers and pens, the "Delft Cylinder" will now be undergoing clinical tests, and will hopefully enter the medical market within the next five years.
For more information on the Delft Cylinder Hand, click here.