Tags: implant | e-Dura | paralyzed | electrical | chemical | stimulation

'Groundbreaking' Spinal Implant May Help Paralyzed Walk

Friday, 09 Jan 2015 01:13 PM

 
An implant that uses a combination of electrical and chemical stimulation applied to the spinal cord of paralyzed individuals is giving them hope of recovery.
 
Scientists at Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have managed to get paralyzed rats walking again after using the e-Dura implant.
 
The flexible ribbon-like implant is designed to be implanted on the surface of the brain or spinal cord. It is embedded with electrodes and imitates the mechanical properties of living tissue. With a greatly reduced risk of damaging the spinal cord, the e-Dura implant delivers drugs along with electrical impulses at the same time to stimulate the point of injury.
 
The new implant addresses the problems connected with other "surface implants" when they are applied long-term underneath the protective envelope — dura matter — that covers the spinal cord and brain. Previous implants were inflexible and caused friction which led to inflammation, a buildup of scar tissue, and rejection. The e-Dura implant is as stretchable and flexible as living tissue.
 
When applied to paralyzed rats, the implant proved it was biocompatible and also worked perfectly, allowing rats to regain the ability to walk again.
 
“Our e-Dura implant can remain for a long period of time on the spinal cord or the cortex, precisely because it has the same mechanical properties as the dura mater itself. This opens up new therapeutic possibilities for patients suffering from neurological trauma or disorders, particularly individuals who have become paralyzed following spinal cord injury,” explained scientist Stéphanie Lacour.
 
Researchers hope that in addition to spinal cord injuries, the implant will in the future also be used to treat epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and help manage chronic pain.

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An implant that uses a combination of electrical and chemical stimulation applied to the spinal cord of paralyzed individuals is giving them hope of recovery. Scientists at France's Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have managed to get paralyzed rats walking again...
implant, e-Dura, paralyzed, electrical, chemical, stimulation
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2015-13-09
Friday, 09 Jan 2015 01:13 PM
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