An injury or medical condition that results in paralysis is an unfortunate reality for many individuals. However, a solution could be on the horizon with a new medical device breakthrough.
A soft and malleable device has been tested in rats and proven to help the animals walk again. This new flexible device was not rejected by the rats’ bodies and does not contribute to any discomfort.
These new stretchy implants that reverse paralysis are called e-Dura and were created by French scientists. Each implant, which is a low-profile prosthetic ribbon, includes electrodes. The implant runs parallel with the spine.
The implant mimics the living tissue (i.e. dura mater) around the spine that controls movements. It sends electric impulses and drugs that can stimulate cells.
Furthermore, researchers believe the device won’t need replacing for approximately 10 years. It’s the first study to demonstrate that a device, not rejected by the body, can create movement in rats with paralysis.
This is fantastic news for spinal cord injury patients or those with neurological conditions. Researchers believe this device could be beneficial not only for spinal cord injury patients but also for those with Parkinson’s, epilepsy and for pain management.
Clinical trials in humans should begin within three years, according to researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.
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