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Hope for the paralyzed
Although most paralyzed persons give up the hope of ever moving their limbs again they don’t need to anymore. A breakthrough is in the making, having not reached the phase of human testing yet. However the changes of the new technology working are high.
Just last year students from the Ecole Polytechnique from Lausanne, Switzerland put together a system through which paralyzed rats were able to move their limbs again. The rats in the test had their spinal cords completely severed so the system can help even in the worst cases of an injury. The system consist of different methods of chemical and electric stimulus delivered to the injured zone.
The physical part of the system consists of an implant, called e-Dura, because it is inserted under the durra mater membrane which encloses the spinal cord and brain. The implant is very fine and flexible, mimicking the spine’s natural behavior thus minimizing any risk of rejection. This is a huge leap from implants on the outer side which cannot be used for longer periods of time due to their interaction with the surrounding tissue, thus leading to inflammation.
The implant itself is made from gold tracks covered silicone which this will can be stretched in any direction without deterioration and without causing inflammation in surrounding tissue. Also it has micro electrodes made of a platinum and silicone composite which will deliver an electric charge that has been traveling through the gold tracks. The implant also has a micro channel used to deliver neuro transmitting drugs to the injured areas of the spine.
The entire solution has been tested on mice for over 2 continuous months and beside the great results it has also shown no trace of inflammation and rejection.