Össur, Reykjavik, Iceland, and the Alfred Mann Foundation (AMF) Santa Clarita, California, have reached an agreement that allows Össur to further develop and license AMF’s implanted myoelectric sensor (IMES) system as both organizations continue to explore the potential of mind-controlled prosthetic technologies.

The IMES sensors are implanted in muscles that directly control the desired movement of a bionic prosthetic limb. The implants sense a small electrical charge in the muscle tissue and send information wirelessly to the prosthetic limb when the user intends to make specific movements. As a result, the bionic limb responds with the desired movement in virtually the same way that a sound arm, hand, or leg would respond.

The world’s first-in-man cases to initially evaluate the IMES technology were conducted in 2014 on U.S. military personnel with upper-limb amputations, using i-Limb bionic prosthetic hands. In 2015, two people from Iceland with lower-limb amputations had IMES units surgically implanted into their residual muscle tissue and demonstrated their ability to control their leg prostheses with their intentions.

The IMES system has also been used successfully in another pilot study to control an entire bionic arm in amputees who had undergone targeted muscle reinnervation surgery.