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Thursday 24th May 2018

First 'bionic arm' fitted

15th September 2006

15092006_artificial_hand1.jpgClaudia Mitchell, a former US marine, is the first woman to be fitted with a 'bionic arm', controlled through thought alone.

The arm is able to detect the activity of nerve cells in her chest that once connected to her left arm. Although the arm has no feeling Ms Mitchell, who lost her arm in a motorcycle accident, merely has to think as if she still has her missing arm and the artificial limb will move accordingly.

Ms Mitchell said that because of the innovative surgery, which involved attaching nerve endings to her chest muscles, she had been given a new lease of life, and that she was feeling "confident and independent".

The technology was developed by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC); they estimate it could help more than 400 US military personnel who have had amputations after serving in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

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