LifeHand 1 (2008)   LifeHand 2 (2013) 

Duration of Experimentation


30 days
(including surgery)


30 days
(including surgery)

  Dimension of surgical incision   8 cm    15 cm

Number of implanted electrodes



4 electrodes in the median
and ulnar nerves


4 electrodes in the median
and ulnar nerves


Type of electrodes used







tf-LIFE (thin-film Longitudinal Intra-Fascicular Electrode) 

Biocompatible electrodes to be placed lengthwise on the nerve


TIME (Trasverse Intrafascicular Multichannel Electrode)

Biocompatible electrodes to be placed across the nerves in order to increase the contact points with the nerve fibres and increase communication with the central nervous system

  Diameter of contacts   80 micrometres   80 micrometres

N° of electrode contacts (active sites)


12 per electrode
(8 + 2 controls + 2 grounds)


16 per electrode
(14 + 2 grounds)


Material used for the contacts



Platinum on a sub-layer
of polyimide


Platinum and iridium oxide
on a sub-layer of polyimide


Potentially injectable electric charge


Approximately 4 nano-Coulombs


120 nano-Coulomb


Type of stimulation in order to move prosthesis




Neural impulses from
patient’s brain via connection
with intraneural electrodes


Myoelectric impulses arriving
from five surface electrodes
placed on muscles
of patient’s left forearm


Method of extracting spikes
from electrodes


Acquisition from one channel
at a time



Simultaneous acquisition
from several communication
channels with peripheral nerves


Tactile feedback from the hand to the patient






Present (2 tension sensors
placed within fingers
of the prosthesis)


Environmental conditions
of the experimentation



Biomechatronic hand placed
on a surface remotely
connected to the implanted


Biomechatronic hand
directly attached to
the patient’s socket on
the forearm of amputated limb


Main abilities observe
during experimentation










Ability to move fingers through
neural impulses so as to make
three movements:

  • claw
  • small finger movement
  • fist






Precision control and
manipulating abilities through
the prosthesis in order to:

  • recognize the position of an object in relation to the hand 
  • recognize different consistencies of the objects 
  • recognize the basic shape of objects
  • apply the correct strength to hold objects
  • fine modulation of applied force over objects