Embedded Technology and Rewiring Damaged Spines
Patients paralyzed from a spinal cord injury may soon be able to walk in the future thanks to the invention of an embedded system that “re-wires” the spinal cord. The device, which is a type of implant, was tested on rats suffering from spinal injury with positive results.
The prosthetic device resembles a slim ribbon and comes with electrodes embedded into it. When placed along the spinal cord, it takes on the responsibility of delivering electrical impulses. The prosthetic is also soft and flexible, which allows for bending just like normal tissue. As a result, it produces very little to no discomfort.
When tested on paralyzed rats, it was observed that the rats were able to move their limbs and gain mobile again. The recovery was also very quick, occurring in just a few weeks.
Developed by French scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the device will soon move forward for human testing. According to the developers, the device will function up to 10 years before requiring a replacement. Aptly named the ‘e-Dura’, the device mimics the spine’s dura mater effectively, which causes the body to accept the implant without any issues.