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New flexible neural implant could help the paralyzed to walk again

cjmagowan  —  4 years ago ( Jan 12, 2015 )    |    Health, Science


Science and Technology are making things and our lives much more easier to live with and as our generation progresses, our understanding about life and its inner working are also moving forward. Doctors from around the world are helping paralyzed patient to bring them the hope to walk or simply move their bodies again. Current procedures are introducing implants to help these patients move again by stimulating the spinal cord with electrical impulses, but our existing technologies however may hinder our capabilities to put these gadgets inside the human spines since most of the time, this implants instead of helping the patients, they are often the cause of damages to the nervous tissues or inflamed in some cases causing more trouble to the patient.

However new developments from Swiss researchers are helping to resolve such problems with their new bendable e-Dura implants. The device is made up of flexible electrodes composed of platinum and silicon microbeads, cracked gold electronic tracks and a fluidic microchannels to transport both electrical and chemical impulses. The flexibility of the device goes along with the surrounding area which mimics the physical movements of the spines to avoid friction. The team had some of these devices installed on paralyzed rats in the lab and the result is positive. Rats with the implants were able to walk again after a few weeks and kept wearing them for two months without signs of gross rejection.

The new technology is currently under testing in a highly controlled environments in the lab while clinical trials on humans are yet to be done. Scientists are looking into the broad application of the technology beyond spinal injuries, as clinical trials progress, researchers are also pinning the technology as a possible cure for epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease but medications are still the way for these diseases. New developments in Science and Technology are helping our ailed families and friends to live a seemingly normal life and the e-Dura is just one of the many technologies that would have a potential impact in advance medicine.