Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Globally, the most popular upper-limb prostheses are powered by the human body. For body-powered (BP) upper-limb prostheses, control is provided by changing the tension of (Bowden) cables to open or close the terminal device. This technology has been around for centuries, and very few BP alternatives have been presented since. This paper introduces a new BP paradigm that can overcome certain limitations of the current cabled systems, such as a restricted operation space and user discomfort caused by the harness to which the cables are attached. A new breathing-powered system is introduced to give the user full control of the hand motion anywhere in space. Users can regulate their breathing, and this controllable airflow is then used to power a small Tesla turbine that can accurately control the prosthetic finger movements. The breathing-powered device provides a novel prosthetic option that can be used without limiting any of the user’s body movements. Here we prove that it is feasible to produce a functional breathing-powered prosthetic hand and show the models behind it along with a preliminary demonstration. This work creates a step-change in the potential BP options available to patients in the future.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





394 - 413