World First Trial of 3D Printed Bionic Hands

12 Jun 2017
World First Trial of 3D Printed Bionic Hands

The world’s first trial of 3D printed bionic hands for children is starting this week, led by Bristol-based company, Open Bionics.

It's the first NHS clinical trial for multi-grip hands for children as young as eight. The hands used in the trial will be the smallest ever fitted that offer multi-grip functionality, meaning they can do a lot more than just open and close.

12 year old Tilly Lockey lost her hands to meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia when she was 15 months old and she was later fitted with a bionic hand made by Open Bionics. Tilly’s parents, Sarah and Adam Lockey are Ambassadors for Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) and they described the bionic hands as “…well made, stylish and make kids feel really cool”.

Linda Glennie, Head of Research as MRF said, “Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that leave a third of survivors with life altering after-effects including loss of limbs. Babies and toddlers are most at risk of the disease so we are particularly pleased to see this latest technology being targeted at younger age groups allowing them to benefit as early as possible. 3D printing is a really exciting development as it is a cheap way of mass producing bionic limbs. The results from this trial could bring us closer to having bionic hands available on the NHS for the people who need them.”

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