Biomimetic Intraneural Sensory Feedback Enhances Sensation Naturalness, Tactile Sensitivity, and Manual Dexterity in a Bidirectional Prosthesis

Giacomo Valle, Alberto Mazzoni, Francesco Iberite, Edoardo D'Anna, Ivo Strauss, Giuseppe Granata, Marco Controzzi, Francesco Clemente, Giulio Rognini, Christian Cipriani, Thomas Stieglitz, Francesco Maria Petrini, Paolo Maria Rossini, Silvestro Micera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peripheral intraneural stimulation can provide tactile information to amputees. However, efforts are still necessary to identify encoding strategy eliciting percepts that are felt as both natural and effective for prosthesis control. Here we compared the naturalness and efficacy of different encoding strategies to deliver neural stimulation to trans-radial amputees implanted with intraneural electrodes. Biomimetic frequency modulation was perceived as more natural, while amplitude modulation enabled better performance in tasks requiring fine identification of the applied force. Notably, the optimal combination of naturalness and sensitivity of the tactile feedback can be achieved with “hybrid” encoding strategies based on simultaneous biomimetic frequency and amplitude neuromodulation. These strategies improved the gross manual dexterity of the subjects during functional task while maintaining high levels of manual accuracy. They also improved prosthesis embodiment, reducing abnormal phantom limb perceptions (“telescoping effect”). Hybrid strategies are able to provide highly sensitive and natural percepts and should be preferred. Video Abstract: Sensory encoding strategies are used to convey sensory information to upper limb amputees. Valle et al. present strategies based on biomimetic approaches that improve sensation naturalness, tactile sensitivity, manual dexterity, and prosthesis embodiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45.e7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 10 2018


  • amputee
  • biomimetic
  • encoding strategies
  • hand prosthesis
  • implantable electrodes
  • mechanoreceptors models
  • neural interface
  • peripheral nerve stimulation
  • sensation naturalness
  • sensory feedback
  • tactile sensory feedback
  • upper limb amputation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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