Paralyzed man regains sense of touch with brain implant

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A paralyzed man has been able to regain a sense of touch through the use of a new brain-linked robotic arm technology.

The patient is a 30-year-old named Nathan Copeland who lost all sensation and movement in his limbs after a car accident 12 years ago.

According to a news release issued by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, he was asked to be part of a trial where doctors determined which parts of his brain triggered feeling in his hand then implanted microelectrodes in those areas.

Over time, he has been able to increasingly feel the contact made with a robotic arm which is attached to a nearby machine.

The Washington Post quotes Copeland as saying, "I can feel just about every finger. Sometimes it feels electrical, and sometimes it's pressure, but for the most part, I can tell most of the fingers with definite precision."

One of the future challenges for the team, according to The Verge, is to design a robotic arm system that can be implanted on the patient.

See photos of Nathan Copeland below:

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Paralyzed man regains sense of touch with brain implant
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Paralyzed man regains sense of touch with brain implant
U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with a robotic arm operated by Nathan Copeland, a quadriplegic brain implant patient who can experience the sensation of touch and control a remote robotic arm with his brain during a tour of the innovation projects at the White House Frontiers conference in Pittsburgh, U.S. October 13, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Neuro interface patient Nathan Copeland, a quadriplegic brain implant patient who can experience the sensation of touch and control a remote robotic arm with his brain, listens as US President Barack Obama speaks while touring innovation projects at the White House Frontiers Conference at the University of Pittsburg in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, on October 13, 2016. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama touches a robotic arm operated by Nathan Copeland, a quadriplegic brain implant patient who can experience the sensation of touch and control a remote robotic arm with his brain during a tour of the innovation projects at the White House Frontiers conference in Pittsburgh, U.S. October 13, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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