Spinal cord damage is perhaps one of the most severe types of injuries that humans can suffer. A spinal cord injury can lead to an overall loss of function, including movement or feeling to extremities. While a complete injury eliminates all function below the site of the injury, incomplete injuries only lead to partial loss of movement or feeling below the injury site.
In either case, repairing the spinal cord has long been the goal of researchers and medical professionals. New research into the use of 3D printing could make this a reality for patients with damaged spinal cords.
Creating a Spinal Cord With 3D Printing
This new type of spinal cord treatment relies heavily on the use of 3D printing technology. As this technology has become faster, more refined, and more detailed in its output, its capabilities have increased. Researchers at the University of California San Diego created a spinal cord with a 3D printer. They loaded the 2mm implants, created for rats, with neural stem cells and grafted the implants into rats at the site of several spinal cord injuries. The results were promising—rats who received this treatment saw improved movement in their hind legs.
Current Testing and the Next Steps
The scaffolds of the artificial spine work to guide newly regenerated axons into the proper position, repairing the once-damaged spinal cord connection. At present, this technology has only been tested on rats with spinal cord injuries. However, since testing has been successful for many rats, human testing could be on the horizon. The technology used by researchers is able to print two 2mm implants in under two seconds. It produced human-sized implants in just 10 minutes.
Getting Help With Your Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury has the power to impact every part of your life, from your overall mobility and physical health to your quality of life and earning ability. An injury can be caused by a motor vehicle accident, sports injury, workplace accident, or physical assault, to name a few causes. Since the effects of a spinal cord injury can last decades, it’s essential to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident to get the compensation you deserve. Compensation may cover lifelong medical expenses, physical therapy bills, medication needs, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other expenses that arise as a result of your injury.
Contact Us About Your Personal Injury Case
If you’ve been involved in an incident that led to a spinal cord injury, it’s important to hold the responsible party accountable. Reach out to Dennis A. Lopez & Associates —you can contact our Tampa office at (813) 223-1977. We’ll work hard to build a strong case and alleviate the financial stress that can be caused by a serious injury.
- How An Attorney Can Help You Prove Whiplash After a Car Accident
- New Study Offers Hope to Spinal Cord Injury Victims