Are you running or stumbling?

"Leg prothesis with sensory feedback" – Publication in Science Translation Medicine



Volunteer Djurica, Stanisa Raspopovic, Francesco M. Petrini, Giacomo Valle © Federica Barberi

Fall has come and with it the time to walk through golden leaves or along the rivershore. We do not see our step but exactly feel where the leg is and what the foot does.

Subjects with an amputation above the knee do no longer have this feedback. Uncertainty, tiredness and a reduced walking speed are the consequences. In cooperation with European partners from Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Iceland and Serbia, the Freiburg microsystem engineer Prof. Dr. Thomas Stieglitz (deputy-cluster speaker of BrainLinks-Tools) successfully developed a "sensorized" leg prosthesis.

The researchers used hair-thin neuro-technical implants made in Freiburg and implanted them in three above knee amputees to stimulate remaining nerves to feedback information about position of the lower limb and contact of the foot to ground. The subjects were able to walk safely, climb stairs and overstep obstacles. Thanks to intelligent prothesis, they can now also enjoy the autumn.

The scientists have published their results in „Science Translation Medicine“.

Original publication:

Francesco Maria Petrini, Giacomo Valle, Marko Bumbasirevic, Federica Barberi, Dario Bortolotti, Paul Cvancara, Arthur Hiairrassary, Pavle Mijovic, Atli Örn Sverrisson, Alessandra Pedrocchi, Jean-Louis Divoux, Igor Popovic, Knut Lechler, Bogdan Mijovic, David Guiraud, Thomas Stieglitz, Asgeir Alexandersson, Silvestro Micera, Aleksandar Lesic, Stanisa Raspopovic (2019): Enhancing functional abilities and cognitive integration of the lower linb prothesis. In: Science Translational Medicine, 11(512) eaav8939


Prof. Dr. Thomas Stieglitz
Department of Microsystems Engineering
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761 203-7471

Natascha Thoma-Widmann
PR/marketing adviser
Faculty of Engineering
University of Freiburg
Tel: + 49 761 203 8056


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