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Prosthetic arm designed by undergrads lets girl play violin

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/22/2017 By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press
Ten-year-old Isabella Nicola Cabrera smiles after playing her violin with her new prosthetic at the engineering department of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, April 20, 2017. "Oh my gosh, that's so much better," Isabella said as she tried out the new prosthetic. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) © The Associated Press Ten-year-old Isabella Nicola Cabrera smiles after playing her violin with her new prosthetic at the engineering department of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, April 20, 2017. "Oh my gosh, that's so much better," Isabella said as she tried out the new prosthetic. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — A 10-year-old girl born with no left hand is playing the violin, thanks to a specially designed prosthetic built by undergraduates at George Mason University.

A new prosthetic holds a bow as it awaits ten-year-old Isabella Nicola Cabrera at the engineering department of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, April 20, 2017. A group of five students designed a new prosthetic for Isabel to play the violin. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) © The Associated Press A new prosthetic holds a bow as it awaits ten-year-old Isabella Nicola Cabrera at the engineering department of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, April 20, 2017. A group of five students designed a new prosthetic for Isabel to play the violin. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Isabella Nicola tested out the final version of her prosthetic Thursday. A team of bioengineering students teamed up with a music instructor to make sure the attachment was comfortable and provided the range of motion for Isabella to move her bow appropriately on the strings.

Ten-year-old Isabella Nicola Cabrera applies rosin to her bow as prepares to play her violin with a new prosthetic at the engineering department of George Mason University in Farifax, Va., Thursday, April 20, 2017. A group of five engineering students designed a new prosthetic for Isabel to use to play the violin. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) © The Associated Press Ten-year-old Isabella Nicola Cabrera applies rosin to her bow as prepares to play her violin with a new prosthetic at the engineering department of George Mason University in Farifax, Va., Thursday, April 20, 2017. A group of five engineering students designed a new prosthetic for Isabel to use to play the violin. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The attachment was the capstone project for the team of senior bioengineering majors at Mason.

Ten-year-old Isabella Nicola Cabrera, left, gets instruction from music Professor Elizabeth Adams, right, as she plays her violin with her new prosthetic at the engineering department of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, April 20, 2017. Abdul Gouda, Mona Elkholy, Ella Novoselsky, Racha Salha and Yasser Alhindi developed multiple prototypes throughout the year. There was a fair amount of literature on similar projects that helped them get a good start, but Isabella's case is unique to her, and the project included plenty of trial and error. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) © The Associated Press Ten-year-old Isabella Nicola Cabrera, left, gets instruction from music Professor Elizabeth Adams, right, as she plays her violin with her new prosthetic at the engineering department of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, April 20, 2017. Abdul Gouda, Mona Elkholy, Ella Novoselsky, Racha Salha and Yasser Alhindi developed multiple prototypes throughout the year. There was a fair amount of literature on similar projects that helped them get a good start, but Isabella's case is unique to her, and the project included plenty of trial and error. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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Isabella's music teacher at her elementary school had built a device for her but approached the school to see if they could come up with something better.

Ten-year-old Isabella Nicola Cabrera plays her violin with her new prosthetic at the engineering department of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, April 20, 2017. Isabella never had any doubt it would come together. "I felt right away that I'd be able to play," she said. "I've always had perseverance." (AP Photo/Steve Helber) © The Associated Press Ten-year-old Isabella Nicola Cabrera plays her violin with her new prosthetic at the engineering department of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, April 20, 2017. Isabella never had any doubt it would come together. "I felt right away that I'd be able to play," she said. "I've always had perseverance." (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

At Thursday's session, the team surprised Isabella with an additional attachment that let her ride a bicycle.

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