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 1604

"Should the UK's engineers be in or out of Europe? The IET sets out its official position on the EU referendum this week - will you agree?"

->

E&T jobs

  • Solutions Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Mechanical Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Software Renewals Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Preston, Lancashire, England
    • Negotiable

    Software Renewals Manager Would you like to work in a resourceful and developing role within IT Services? We currently have a vacancy for a Software Renewals Manager at our site in Preston Channel Way. As a Software Renewals Manager, you will be responsi

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Technical Manager

    Aggregate Industries
    • Hulland Ward, Ashbourne
    • Attractive salary plus comprehensive benefits

    A key Technical Manager role driving product improvement and compliance with Aggregate Industries, market leader in Construction Solutions.

    • Recruiter: Aggregate Industries

    Apply for this job

  • Field Application Engineer

    Intel
    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Engineers and Scientists

    European Patent Office
    • Munich and The Hague
    • See job description

    We are looking for Engineers and scientists in various technical fields for our locations in Munich and The Hague.

    • Recruiter: European Patent Office

    Apply for this job

  • Director of Product Management

    EMS Recruitment Group
    • West Yorkshire
    • Circa £70,000 PA + car allowance, excellent benefits including lucrative bonus scheme

    Our client is the undoubted world leader in their field. A highly innovative and progressive specialist electro-mechanical product manufacturer....

    • Recruiter: EMS Recruitment Group

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer

    Premium job

    Scottish Prison Service
    • Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh
    • £40,654 to £48,579 plus annual supplement of £10,000

    Build Your Engineering Career. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is an Agency of the Scottish Government, working in partnership.....

    • Recruiter: Scottish Prison Service

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Installation and Commissioning Engineer

    Premium job

    Crest Solutions
    • Corby
    • Competitive

    You will be involved in installation, commissioning & servicing of printing and machine vision related solutions.

    • Recruiter: Crest Solutions

    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