A big boost for re­search into making bionic limbs

Ma­sons give £92k to ‘ground-break­ing’ pros­thet­ics project

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Steve Bax steve.bax@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A MED­I­CAL re­search cen­tre at Mount Ver­non Hos­pi­tal in North­wood has been given £92,000 to fund its pi­o­neer­ing work on bionic limbs.

The Restora­tion of Ap­pear­ance and Func­tion Trust (RAFT) was given the money by the Freema­sons, whose mem­bers were polled for a char­ity to re­ceive a share of the Ma­sonic Sa­mar­i­tan Fund Sil­ver Ju­bilee Re­search cash.

RAFT’s project is one of 13 med­i­cal re­search stud­ies the Ma­sonic Sa­mar­i­tan Fund is sup­port­ing this year with grants to­talling £1.125mil­lion.

The grant RAFT to de­vel­op­ing will help

con­tinue tech­nol­ogy that will en­able ex­ist­ing and fu­ture up­per limb pros­thet­ics to work as ef­fec­tively as the hu­man arm.

Leonor St­jepic, chief ex­ec­u­tive of RAFT said: “This com­mit­ment from the MSF will be lifechang­ing for RAFT’s re­search and for those ben­e­fit­ting from it in the fu­ture. It’s an im­por­tant ac­knowl­edge­ment of our ground-break­ing work.”

And the group’s chief sci­en­tific of­fi­cer, Dr Lil­ian Hook, added: “We are forg­ing a course of med­i­cal re­search that will one day lead to some­one with a pros­thetic limb for­get­ting that they even have one.”

The tech­nol­ogy be­ing de­vel­oped is in­tended to re­move the need for straps and har­nesses to keep the pros­thetic arm in place.

Elec­trodes are di­rectly at­tached to mus­cle tis­sue un­der the skin, re­sult­ing in a pros­thetic arm that works in­tu­itively, is com­fort­able, easy to fit and prac­ti­cal.

RAFT’s goal

is

for in­di­vid­ual pa­tients to feel as though their re­place­ment arm feels akin to their own body.

John Briggs, on be­half of the Ma­sonic Prov­ince of Mid­dle­sex, said: “We are de­lighted to be able to present the £92,000 grant to RAFT’s re­search team. RAFT is an in­no­va­tive med­i­cal re­search char­ity and a well-known lo­cal cause which Freema­sons are com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing.”

n HELP­ING HAND FOR A PI­O­NEER­ING PROJECT: John Til­lot­son, Dr Sally East, Leonor St­jepic, John Briggs and John Abbey

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