Researchers repair nerves with silicone implant from 3D printer




t with a 3D printer neural functions could be recovered. This offers prospects for people with paralysis.

Neurons A description of the completed study is published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials. These are experiments performed with rats, thus making it is still unclear whether the method works in patients and it may be years before the method finds a way to the clinic.

In their experiments, researchers tried various American universities to repair damaged nerves in rats. This is usually difficult because nerve cells by the body itself hardly be repaired causing permanent damage can occur, such as a paralysis. The researchers tried to urge the body in order to re-establish so-called neurons by giving off signal substances in the body.

By first using a 3D-scanner could not be ascertained what kind of shape needed to get the implant. In this case concerned the structure of the so-called sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body and many neuronal bundles contains the control of bodily functions. The structure of this nerve is reconstructed with a 3D printer and then the customized implant, built with silicon containing signaling molecules inserted in rats suffering from a paralysis because their nerve was severed.

In their publication describe the scientists that the physical and biochemical signals coming out of the implant in the conscious nerve sensory neurons with a well as those repaired with a motor function. This resulted in that the rats receiving the treatment with the implant were able to walk better over time.

According to the authors show that their method a treatment method that relies on creating a 3D model of the damaged tissue and then here to make an implant with a 3D printer allow patients with paralysis can help. It is, however, necessary that the concept will be tested on humans before it becomes clear whether it actually works. Also, the scientists have chosen to use a large nerve in their experiments, so that it is not clear whether the method also works equally well with smaller nerves.

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