Interrupted spinal cord in the near future will no longer mean spending a lifetime on a wheelchair. Rice University researchers are working on a promising, graphene-based repair therapy. Mouse tests give you very interesting results.
Grafen is a very unusual material whose applications seem endless. It is used in batteries, sensors and many other devices. Meanwhile, scientists at Rise University have found him a completely new use and want to use it in medicine. Strictly speaking, it investigates its use in repairing a broken spinal cord.
Previous studies have shown that graphene can stimulate the growth of new neurons, resulting in limited success in the treatment of discontinued spinal cord in animals. Based on their findings, Rice researchers combined graphene nodules with polyethylene glycol to form a material called Texas-PEG.
The new material is a conductive scaffold that can reconnect the two damaged ends of the spinal cord, allowing for the transmission of nerve signals. What’s important, this is not just a theory.
The researchers tested Texas-PEG on animals. Rats with damaged spinal cord, treated with new material, recovered partial efficiency after 24 hours. After two weeks, the animal returned to health, showing almost perfect control of the motor. Of course, this does not mean that a similar effect can be achieved in humans, but animal studies have shown that Texas-PEG is a very promising project.