First bionic limb fitted in UK

24 January 2013
By Edward Gent
Mobile version
Share |
The Michelangelo hand, made by German firm Ottobock Healthcare, is one of the most advanced prosthetics available

The Michelangelo hand, made by German firm Ottobock Healthcare, is one of the most advanced prosthetics available

A father-of-three has become the first person in the UK to be fitted with a bionic limb.

Christopher Taylor, who lost his right hand in a jet ski accident, has been fitted with a £47,000 Michelangelo hand, which is controlled by muscle signals from his brain.

Made by German firm Ottobock Healthcare, the device’s four fingers and thumb are able to move independently of each other making it possible to grip items – vital for Mr Taylor’s job as a self-employed lifting equipment engineer.

The Michelangelo - named after the Italian artist's painting of God and Adam touching hands - is made of soft and hard components, mirroring bones, joints, muscles and tendons and is the only prosthetic hand with a thumb that electronically moves into position.

The 58-year-old from Ivybridge, Devon, who returned to work a fortnight after losing his hand in August 2009, has been testing the Michelangelo since December and had his final fitting this week.

Mr Taylor, who is left-handed, said: "The fingers move in line like a natural hand and I particularly like the way I can very quickly change the type of grip needed for a variety of everyday tasks as easily as moving my remaining hand."

The hand was fitted by Dorset Orthopaedic director of clinical services David Hills, who said his team had been looking for a suitable patient since first seeing a prototype of the German device several years ago.

"He is a very determined gentleman," said Mr Hills. "Putting him together with this marvellous hand was perfect. It allows him to get back to normal activities at home, like helping out in the kitchen, ironing and making beds."

The prosthetic has a silicone socket, attaching the hand to Mr Taylor's arm.

Mr Hills said: "Traditionally, upper limb sockets are made from rigid materials such as glass fibre. We have, however, developed 100% silicone sockets which are proving to be much more comfortable due to their flexibility, especially around bony areas such as the elbow."

Geoff Harding, prosthetics business manager at Ottobock Healthcare said: "This is a hugely exciting medical innovation and we're delighted that Christopher has found the Michelangelo so comfortable and easy to use.

"We hope that Christopher's story shows other amputees that real, effective solutions are available and look forward to watching his progress with Michelangelo."

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Design Delivery Leader, Palace of Westminster Restoration & Renewal (R&R) - Engineering Lead

    House of Commons
    • City of Westminster, London (Greater)
    • Circa £65,000 (There may be more for an exceptional candidate)

    You will lead on a number of engineering infrastructure and associated workstreams under direction from the Deputy Director

    • Recruiter: House of Commons

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Engineer, Network Equipment

    Energy Networks Association
    • Westminster
    • £49-58k per annum, dependent on experience

    Manage issues and working groups relating to all types of equipment and assets used on the UK Transmission and Distribution Networks.

    • Recruiter: Energy Networks Association

    Apply for this job

  • Programme Manager, Network Resilience

    Energy Networks Association
    • Westminster
    • Competitive salary, dependent on experience

    Co-ordinate the network resilience, emergency planning and the Single Electricity Number (SEN) work in the ENA Engineering team.

    • Recruiter: Energy Networks Association

    Apply for this job

  • Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) of Smart Building Solutions

    Premium job

    ETH Zurich
    • Zurich, Canton of Zürich (CH)

    The successful candidate is expected to develop a strong and visible research programme in the area of control and diagnostics of building systems

    • Recruiter: ETH Zurich

    Apply for this job

  • Process Controls Leader

    Premium job

    Phillips 66
    • Humber Refinery, South Killingholme, North Lincolnshire DN40 3DW
    • £60k - 75k plus extensive Compensation and benefits package, dependent upon experience

    Experienced Process Control Leader providing leadership and technical support for Oil Refinery. Extensive Compensation and benefits package.

    • Recruiter: Phillips 66

    Apply for this job

  • Regional Technical Support Manager

    Premium job

    Siemens
    • Warwick, Warwickshire

    You will be required to lead the regional Customer Services strategy and resources to maximise Customer satisfaction.

    • Recruiter: Siemens

    Apply for this job

  • Digital Forensic Specialist (Audio)

    Met Police
    • London
    • Circa £37,305 plus £3,406 location allowance

    You’ll contribute to a wide range of research and development activities.

    • Recruiter: Met Police

    Apply for this job

  • Marine Engineering Technician (Electrical)

    Port of London Authority
    • Gravesend, Kent
    • £34,318 per annum (inclusive of allowances)

    The successful candidate will be responsible for undertaking maintenance of machinery and hull systems in a fleet of small commercial craft

    • Recruiter: Port of London Authority

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Systems Engineer

    BAE Systems
    • Weymouth, England, Dorset / Frimley, England, Surrey
    • Competitive package

    Would you like to be involved in designing, developing, and delivering cutting edge combat systems for the world's most advanced military submarines? BAE Systems is recruiting Principal Systems Engineers

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Communications Engineer

    BAE Systems
    • England, Hampshire, Portsmouth
    • Negotiable

    Communications Engineer Would you like to play a key role supporting the UK's Maritime Communications Infrastructure? We currently have a vacancy for a Communications Engineer at our site in Portsmouth. As a Communications Engineer, you will be carrying o

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T