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'Cyborg' spinal implant could help paralysed walk again

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posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 06:59 PM
French scientists have managed to create a spinal implant which, they hope, could be used to help paralysed people walk again. The implant in its current form has worked in trials with paralysed rats, and the team is currently looking at creating a wireless version in which they predict may be able to last up to 10 years before needing to be replaced.

The implant is made up of a prosthetic silicon ribbon with gold conductors, while its electrodes are made up of platinum and silicon microbeads. The implant is smooth enough that scientists are able to attach it to the spinal cord without any rejection from the body.

I think this is an awesome breathrough, and i do hope more comes of it.

The prosthetic, described by British experts as ‘quite remarkable’, is soft enough to bend with tissue surrounding the backbone to avoid discomfort.

Paralysed rats who were fitted with the implant were able to walk on their own again after just a few weeks of training.


Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne are hoping to move to clinical trials in humans soon. They believe that a device could last 10 years in humans before needing to be replaced. The implant, called ‘e-Dura’, is so effective because it mimics the soft tissue around the spine – known as the dura mater – so that the body does not reject its presence.


Previous experiments had shown that chemicals and electrodes implanted in the spine could take on the role of the brain and stimulate nerves, causing the rats' legs to move involuntarily when they were placed on a treadmill.

But this is the first study to show a simple gadget can help rats walk again and be tolerated by the body.

Scientists have struggled to find a device which will sit next to the spine or brain because both are surrounded by a protective envelope of tissue which the hard surface of implants can rub against, causing inflammation and scar tissue.

However the new gadget is flexible and stretchy enough that it can be placed directly onto the spinal cord. It closely imitates the mechanical properties of living tissue, and can simultaneously deliver electric impulses and drugs which activate cells.

posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 09:40 PM
Cool find, Daas. Let's hope that this invention makes it to market. There's a lot of promising stuff out there..........

posted on Jan, 9 2015 @ 11:35 PM
That's a great thing to hear. I thought that genetic scientists would solve this problem with some sort of cloning adaption or with stem cells culled out of fetus spines, if this works then I guess it's a good alternative. Not a permanent one, but 10 years makes for a lot of action.

a reply to: daaskapital

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