09 January

There have been trials and errors with this study. Many researchers and scientists have attempted to cure the paralyzed to walk again. Trials have not lasted very long, but now scientists have hit a milestone in their research in a new study that allowed rats to walk for up-to two months.

Research has been done previously on implants, however they proved to be inflexible as they would rub, which would cause inflammation, and would not work properly.

However, this new study is a renovated implant, one that has been designed to move with the body which thus provides a chemical and electrical stimulation. Once tested on the rats, they were able to move again. Although only for two months, this is a huge breakthrough for the area of study. Not only has it lasted longer than other tests, but it has sustained in an animal which gives a small hope that the process could perhaps one day be progressed onto human trials, and succeed.

To explain the spinal process;

The spinal cord is like a motorway with electrical signals rushing up and down it instead of cars…Injury to the spinal cord leads to paralysis when the electrical signals are stuck in a jam and can no longer get from the brain to the legs. [1]

This implant has worked due to the movement , and using the elastic affect it is soft and flexible. The scientists explained the wiring used is made of “microcracked” gold. This means that tiny cuts in the wiring surface has made it flexible.

Dr Dusko Ilic, from King’s College London, said: “This is quite remarkable, until now, the most advanced prostheses in intimate contact with the spinal cord caused quite substantial damage to tissue in just one week due to their stiffness…The work described here is a groundbreaking achievement of technology, which could open a door to a new era in treatment of neuronal damage. [2]

We consider this amazing news to hear to end our weekend! What do you think of the new breakthrough?

[1] BBC News, (2015). Elastic implant ‘reverses paralysis’. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30725899

[2] Ibid

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