Promising research in enhanced proprioception
The ideal prosthetic limb would mimic the amputated limb in all respects. Currently prosthetic limbs do not provide adequate proprioception which is defined as a sense of the relative position of the limb. Amputees reject prosthetic limbs at a rate of about 20 percent, enhanced proprioception could lower that percentage. Researchers at MIT are trying to reduce the number with a surgical technique that mirrors the normal agonist-antagonist pairing of muscles at the amputation site. This will enable the surrounding muscles and nerves to transmit proprioceptive information to amputees. That could be a huge breakthrough for people who wear a prosthetic device.
MIT professor Hugh Herr, who himself is a double-amputee, performed this procedure on seven rats by cutting through the muscles and nerves of their hind legs. Professor Herr and his team then grafted paired muscles and after re-wiring the nerves they were able to achieve normal contractions in the grafted muscles. These are promising results and Herr plans on performing similar tests on humans, in fact he will serve as the first test subject. This could spell a much brighter future for people with limb loss.
Check out the full story here!: Gaining Proprioception with Prosthetics