Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Walking again after spinal injury

18.02.2013
In the lab, rats with severe spinal cord injury are learning to walk—and run—again.
Last June in the journal Science, Grégoire Courtine, of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), reported that rats in his lab are not only voluntarily initiating a walking gait, but they were sprinting, climbing up stairs, and avoiding obstacles after a couple of weeks of neurorehabilitation with a combination of a robotic harness and electricalchemical stimulation.

Now, at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston, Courtine describes this research in detail and the next steps towards clinical trials to be done in Switzerland. Courtine holds the International Paraplegic Foundation (IRP) Chair in Spinal Cord Repair at EPFL. At AAAS, in a symposium titled, “Engineering the Nervous System: Solutions to Restore Sight, Hearing, and Mobility,” he outlines the range of neuroprosthetic technologies developed in his lab, which aim to restore voluntary control of locomotion after severe spinal cord injury.
He explains how he and his colleagues are interfacing the central nervous system with stretchable spinal electrode arrays controlled with smart stimulation algorithms – combined with novel robotic rehabilitation – and shows videos of completely paralyzed rats voluntarily moving after only weeks of treatment.

Courtine expects to begin clinical trials in human patients within the next two years. At AAAS, he presents the 9 million euro European project NeuWalk (www.neuwalk.com), an effort dedicated to the transfer of technology from rats over to humans with spinal cord damage through development of effective neuroprosthetic systems for rehabilitation. The first phase of clinical studies will be conducted at the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), which has developed extensive expertise in the electrical-chemical stimulation of the human spinal cord.

The second phase will take place at the newly planned EPFL Valais Wallis academic cluster in Valais, Switzerland, to be inaugurated in 2015. This health and biotechnology center in Valais will focus on new treatments and rehabilitation for people with physical disabilities.

This research program has the potential to develop effective treatment paradigms for rehabilitating individuals with severe spinal cord injury, for whom current rehabilitative treatments do not restore the ability to stand or walk.

Researcher Contact: Professor Grégoire Courtine
International Paraplegic Foundation (IRP) Chair in Spinal Cord Repair
gregoire.courtine@epfl.ch
http://courtine-lab.epfl.ch
Press Kit:
http://bit.ly/VJqhhG
Links:
http://AAAS.epfl.ch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ejwEqpV8ak4
http://actu.epfl.ch/news/walking-again-after-spinal-cord-injury/
http://actu.epfl.ch/news/valais-a-health-valley-and-the-driving-force-of-to/
http://www.project-rewalk.com
About EPFL:
With over 350 laboratories and research groups on campus, EPFL is one of Europe’s most innovative and productive scientific institutions. Ranked top 3 in Europe and top 20 worldwide in many scientific rankings, EPFL has attracted the best researchers in their fields. The institute’s unique structure fosters trans-disciplinary research and promotes partnerships with other institutions. It continuously combines fundamental research and engineering.

http://information.epfl.ch/glance
Médiacom - Hillary Sanctuary
EPFL / P / P-SG / SMC
CM 1 364 (Bâtiment CM)
Station 10
CH - 1015 Lausanne
Téléphone : +4121 693 70 22
Mobile : +4179 703 48 09
Fax: +4121 693 30 91
Email: hillary.sanctuary@epfl.ch

Hillary Sanctuary | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.epfl.ch

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht 3-D visualization of the pancreas -- new tool in diabetes research
15.03.2017 | Umea University

nachricht New PET radiotracer identifies inflammation in life-threatening atherosclerosis
02.03.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>