Prosthetic Limbs Get Real With Lifelike Features

PHOTO: This lifelike thumb prosthetic was custom designed by stamos + braun prothesenwerk gmbh.

A German company has created prosthetic limbs so lifelike that most people have trouble spotting them.

Christoph Braunstamos of Stamos and Braun Prothesenwerk said the company considers each silicone prosthetic a work of art.

“All the work is done individually,” he said. “We try to catch the right colors from the patients and transfer them to the prosthesis.”

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Braunstamos said the company works hard to get all the little details right. For instance, they craft fingernails and toenails from acrylic, the same material used in nail salons, so people can paint them.

“That’s often important to women,” he said.

PHOTO: It is difficult to spot the prosthetic toe designed by stamos + braun prothesenwerk gmbh.
stamos + braun prothesenwerk gmbh
PHOTO: It is difficult to spot the prosthetic toe designed by stamos + braun prothesenwerk gmbh.

Braunstamos admits that the realistic looking appendages don’t function as well as prosthetics with built-in bionics, but the fingers are flexible enough for someone to play the piano. The artificial arms and feet can also perform basic tasks, he said.

PHOTO: A lifelike arm prosthetic designed by stamos + braun prothesenwerk gmbh.
stamos + braun prothesenwerk gmbh
PHOTO: A lifelike arm prosthetic designed by stamos + braun prothesenwerk gmbh.

Each prosthetic costs between $2,500 and $8,500, depending on the size and the level of customization. However, in Europe where most of them are sold, the majority of the cost is picked up by insurance, Braunstamos said.

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