Created an implant for the regeneration of nerve cells
Researchers from northwestern Saint Louis University have developed a biocompatible implant that helps restore the damaged peripheral nerves and completely decomposes in the body for a month.
After serious injuries, accidents and prolonged exertion, many people remain peripheral nerve injury. This can cause numbness, pain or weakness, and treatment is time consuming and not always effective. However, unlike nerves in the brain and spinal cord, the peripheral is able to regenerate, restoring its function. To accelerate this process and improve treatment was created biodegradable implant.
In the process, the device stimulates the tissue using controlled electrical pulses, to accelerate the release of proteins that promote natural regeneration. Frequency, power and period of exposure is controlled remotely using a computer, so for each treatment may vary. Stimulation can replace surgical intervention and partly physical therapy.
The implant is powered from the wireless transmitter, and completely decomposed under the influence of salt (saline) for 2-4 weeks. The device is fully biocompatible and requires one hour of stimulation up to two weeks for optimal effect.
Studies were conducted only on laboratory rats with damaged sciatic nerves. All objects receiving stimulation recovered faster, and the longer was the exposure, the better was the result. Before testing the device on humans, scientists want to ensure its safety and the absence of such effects occurring with time. However, they are confident that their invention will open the era of biocompatible electronic medical systems.
Scientists propose new options for a more effective treatment, but also to create all human organs and cells on a 3D printer.