1. ITV Report

The 'Michelangelo hand': Britain's first bionic hand

An engineer who lost his right hand after a jet ski accident has become the first person in the UK to be fitted with a revolutionary lifelike bionic limb.

Christopher Taylor with his new bionic arm Credit: PA Wire

The 'Michelangelo hand' costs £47,000 and is controlled by signals from Christopher Taylor's brain which allows each finger and the thumb to move independently.

It means he can easily grip items which is vital for his job as a self-employed lifting equipment engineer.

Christopher Taylor chops tomatoes with his new arm Credit: PA Wire

The 58-year-old from Devon had his final fitting this week.

The fingers move in line like a natural hand and I particularly like the way I can very quickly change the type of grip needed for a variety of everyday tasks as easily as moving my remaining hand.

Great for grating, the bionic hand in action Credit: PA Wire
  • The Michelangelo is named after the Italian artist's painting of God and Adam touching hands
  • It's made of soft and hard components, mirroring bones, joints, muscles and tendons
  • It has a silicone socket, attaching the hand to Mr Taylor's arm

The hand was fitted by Dorset Orthopaedic director of clinical services David Hills. He had been looking for a suitable patient since first seeing a prototype of the German device several years ago.

Since getting his new hand Christopher Taylor has been getting on with life as normal Credit: PA Wire

He is a very determined gentleman. Putting him together with this marvellous hand was perfect. It allows him to get back to normal activities at home, like helping out in the kitchen, ironing and making beds.

Traditionally, upper limb sockets are made from rigid materials such as glass fibre.

We have, however, developed 100% silicone sockets which are proving to be much more comfortable due to their flexibility, especially around bony areas such as the elbow

– David Hills, Dorset Orthopaedic director of clinical services

Mr Hills said the company is looking for other patients to be fitted with the bionic hand, which can be covered with a glove to match the patient's skin tone for a more natural look.

A silicone socket, attaches the hand to Mr Taylor's arm Credit: PA Wire

Earlier this month a 51-year-old man from West Yorkshire became the first person in Britain to receive a transplant using a real human hand. Read his story in full here.