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  • Writer's pictureJulie Manley

Scientists create spinal cord implants that could allow paralysed people to walk

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-A scientific breakthrough may enable paralysed people to walk again as researches have created human spinal cord implants”

-3D implants, made using human cells, had an 80% success rate in restoring the ability to walk in paralysed mice

The team’s strategy differs from current approaches which use cell therapy to try and heal spinal damage. Where conventionally different cell types or biomaterials are injected into the site of injury with the hopes that these cells with proliferate and grow on their own inside the body, the new spinal cord implant is first grown in the lab.

“Injected cells are isolated and need to form a neuronal network and be integrated with healthy tissue,” said Dvir. “In our lab, we engineer this tissue to form the network in a dish, and only after we have a fully formed 3D neuronal network do we transplant them. The only thing they need to do in the body is connect with the healthy tissue, which is much easier to do.”

-the researchers hope to reach the stage of clinical trials in humans within the next few years

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