Almerina Mascarello, who lost her hand in 1993 when it was crushed by a press in the industrial factory she was working in, was fitted with the prosthetic as part of a six-month experiment at Rome’s Policlinico Gemelli hospital in June 2016.

The hand, which has a sense of touch, was built by a team led by professor Silvestro Micera from Pisa’s Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies and the Polytechnic of Lausanna.

“The hand is an improved version of one fitted onto a Danish man in 2014,” Mr Micera said.

During the experiment, Ms Mascarello was able to use the hand out and about in everyday life, as the technology was small enough to be carried in a backpack.

But it was removed after six months as it was a prototype.

The results of the trial are set to be published in an international scientific journal.

The 55-year-old, from the town of Montecchio Precalcino, near Vicenza, said she was looking forward to May when a bionic hand specially made for her is expected to arrive.

“Only then will I be able to say that my life has been completely changed,” she added.

Ms Mascarello stumbled upon the groundbreaking experiment by chance.

“I was flicking through a magazine on invalidity when I noticed a page asking people to undergo a test for prosthesis,” she said.

“The Gemelli team phoned me a year later and asked me if I would like to be a guinea pig for a bionic hand.”

The prototype has been tested on several people from around Europe, with each operation costing several thousand euros.