Jamie's Blog

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Nanotech Injection helps paralyzed mice walk

Samuel Stupp at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill has come up with a way to use nanotech to partially repair the spinal cords of mice who were completely paralyzed. He and his team used a specifically tailored molecule to convince stem cells to grow into new nerves. Normally in an injury of that magnitude, the bodies naturally occurring stem cells would become scar tissue rather than new nerves. By preventing the scar tissue from forming, the stem cells instead become new nerves. The entire procedure did not require any surgery or invasive procedures. It could all be accomplished by injecting the tailored molecules directly into the damaged area.
Stupp says he does not think the technique is mature enough to completely heal a severed spinal cord. But he does think that significant improvement in the quality of life for people with severe spinal cord injuries is a possibility using his technique. he hopes to start clinical trial using humans test subjects within two years.

LiveScience.com: Simple Injection Shows Promise for Treating Paralysis
ABC News: Paralyzed Mice Walk Again

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