Utilizing a new implant, researchers in Switzerland gave rats with spinal cord injuries the ability to walk again.
The implant, called the electronic dura, sits directly on the spinal cord, delivers drugs, and electric activity to the damaged area. The receptors and neurotransmitters reacted the same as in a patient with a healthy spinal cord.
The brain still was not communicating at this point with the area below the damage so this activity, so this movement was involuntary. Eventually however, the rats trusted their ability to move and the communication was restored.
The push is to now get the electronic dura to human trails and see if it is compatible to cause minimal damage when implanted, deliver drugs and stimulus correctly, and will last long enough for the patient to be rehabilitated.
Click below to learn more about the furry heroes who helped pioneer this research and watch the amazing video.