Intraneural stimulation elicits discrimination of textural features by artificial fingertip in intact and amputee humans

Calogero Maria Oddo, Stanisa Raspopovic, Fiorenzo Artoni, Alberto Mazzoni, Giacomo Spigler, Francesco Petrini, Federica Giambattistelli, Fabrizio Vecchio, Francesca Miraglia, Loredana Zollo, Giovanni Di Pino, Domenico Camboni, Maria Chiara Carrozza, Eugenio Guglielmelli, Paolo Maria Rossini, Ugo Faraguna, Silvestro Micera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

163 Citations (Scopus)


Restoration of touch after hand amputation is a desirable feature of ideal prostheses. Here, we show that texture discrimination can be artificially provided in human subjects by implementing a neuromorphic real-time mechano-neuro-transduction (MNT), which emulates to some extent the firing dynamics of SA1 cutaneous afferents. The MNT process was used to modulate the temporal pattern of electrical spikes delivered to the human median nerve via percutaneous microstimulation in four intact subjects and via implanted intrafascicular stimulation in one transradial amputee. Both approaches allowed the subjects to reliably discriminate spatial coarseness of surfaces as confirmed also by a hybrid neural model of the median nerve. Moreover, MNT-evoked EEG activity showed physiologically plausible responses that were superimposable in time and topography to the ones elicited by a natural mechanical tactile stimulation. These findings can open up novel opportunities for sensory restoration in the next generation of neuro-prosthetic hands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e09148-N/A/A
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Amputees
  • Artificial Organs
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Humans
  • Immunology and Microbiology (all)
  • Medicine (all)
  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Touch
  • artificial touch
  • hand neuroprosthetics
  • human
  • intraneural stimulation
  • neuromorphic stimuli
  • neuroscience
  • tactile code
  • touch restoration


Dive into the research topics of 'Intraneural stimulation elicits discrimination of textural features by artificial fingertip in intact and amputee humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this