Bionic Glove

Developed by Prochazka and colleagues at the University of Alberta the Bionic Glove improves hand function in people with SCI. This device uses three channels of electrical stimulation to stimulate finger flexors, extensors and thumb flexors. The control signal comes from a wrist position tranducer mounted in the garment. The actual functioning of the device can be described as greatly augmenting tenodesis (Popovic et al. 2006Prochazka et al. 1997). The Bionic Glove is designed to enhance the tenodesis grasp in subjects that have a voluntary control over the wrist (flexion and extension). Stimulates finger flexors and extensors during tenodesis grasp, enhances strength of grasp. The Bionic Glove is available at the University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada and used primarily for clinical evaluation. A modified version of this device will be called Tetron (Popovic et al. 2002). Overall acceptance rate for long-term use is reported in 30% of potential users. Functions of power grasp and handling of big objects were significally improved (Popovic et al. 2002). There have been several identified concerns with the device that include damage to the stimulator located on the forearm that is frequently damaged through accidental contact during functional activities and the transducer mechanism is delicate and has to be replaced frequently (Popovic et al. 2001b).