Individuals have to face the dire consequence of going through paralysis after experiencing major trauma or disease. The situation makes it necessary for them to undergo therapy. Scientists have been unable to produce the requisite treatment to reverse paralysis for numerous years. This is because the human body's central nervous system, including the spinal cord and the brain, cannot significantly repair itself after an injury. Further, it does not have much chance of recovering after the onset of a degenerative disease either. The problem might be solved if appropriate therapeutics are developed that can trigger spinal cord regeneration.
Recently a research team has managed to develop a novel injectable therapy with the ability to harness "dancing molecules." This results in reversing the paralysis and repair of tissues once an individual encounters severe spinal cord injuries. The study can bring boom within Spinal Surgery Market as it is the first-of-its-kind where the team could manipulate the molecule's collective motion by changing the chemical structure, thus raising therapeutic efficiency.
Researchers gave a single injection to paralyzed mice in tissues in the surrounding area of spinal cords to test their innovation. They showed evidence that only four weeks later, the animal had gained the ability to walk again.
The therapy was developed wherein the team sent bioactive signals to trigger cells to repair and regenerate the injured tissue. The treatment is no less than a breakthrough that can drastically enhance severely injured spinal cords in the following ways –
They can regenerate axons (severed extensions of neurons)
They can considerably reduce scar tissues which are responsible for building a physical barrier to repair and regeneration.
It also reforms Myelin which is an insulating layer of axons essential for transmitting electrical signals efficiently.
It helps in the formation of blood vessels to transport nutrients to cells present at the injury site.
The therapy also results in the survival of more neurons.
The components biodegrade into nutrients for the cells within 12 weeks after the therapy has completed its role and then entirely disappear from the body without causing any apparent side effects.
The most critical aspect of the newly developed therapeutics is that they can tune the motion of the molecules. This helps them find and engage with cellular receptors that are continuously in motion. The therapy is injected as a liquid and immediately gels itself into the sophisticated network of nanofibers after it is administered. The nanofibers work by imitating the extracellular matrix inside the spinal cord. The therapy works by matching the matrix's structure, copying the motions taken by biological molecules, and integrating signals for the benefit of receptors. In this manner, synthetic materials are empowered to communicate with the cells.
The most novel element of the present research is that it provides control of the collective motion of around 100,000 molecules within the nanofibers. The team connects with receptors by making the molecules move, leap, or even 'dance' temporarily out of structures referred to as supramolecular polymers.
The research proposed by the researchers is highly relevant for patients with paralysis or spinal cord injury as the treatment can successfully regenerate the injured site within the spinal cord. Thus, the therapeutics would be highly advantageous for patients with Alzheimer's disease, ALS, and Parkinson's disease.