Targeted Reinnervation was developed by Dr. Todd Kuiken at Northwestern University and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Dr. Gregory Dumanian at Northwestern University’s Division of Plastic Surgery. The term innervation refers to the proliferation of nerve ending and neurons through tissue usually muscle tissue. So, when we refer to an area of the body as highly innervated, we mean there is an abundance of nerves in the tissue.
A Targeted Reinnervation makes it possible for an amputee to control a motorized prosthetic. The amputee controls the prosthetic and receives sensory feedback very much like the severed appendage.
The process involves removing nerves from the patient then innervating that muscle from the amputated appendage. The object, is to provide the patient with the same sensory perception that he had in the amputated appendage. When translated by the brain, the patient “feels” the same sense he or she once had in the missing appendage.
It amazing work funded by DARPA. Watch the video.