Of course, we've seen bionic hands with a sense of feeling before. Earlier this year, a team from Europe developed a less realistic-looking and less advanced prosthetic for one man. Case Western's made-in-America advance goes well beyond that, though. The texture sensation is so sophisticated that doctors could a cotton ball over the prosthesis and the hair on the amputee's arm would stand up straight. "I knew immediately it was cotton," one of the amputees said after a test. And the simple fact that the technology works with multiple amputees—two in the case—also shows that many more could also benefit.

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That's not all. Unexpectedly, the new prosthetic also makes the amputees phantom limb pain disappear. It's a nice trade off, getting rid of pain and restoring feeling. The sense of feeling is so acute that the amputees were able to pick up and hold delicate objects like grapes and tomatoes without damaging them. Other bionic hands tend to crush things.

Of course, it'll take more time and testing before this technology makes it to market. But we know that the FDA is down with mind-controlled prosthetics. They're going to love this fist from the future. [CWRU]

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Image via CWRU