Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nerve cells ’guided’ to repair spinal damage: Technique

17.08.2004


May lead to treatment for severed spinal cords



University of Toronto researchers have designed a method to facilitate nerve cell repair that could ultimately lead to treating severed spinal cords.

The technique, outlined in the July 6 online version of Biomaterials, involves imbedding a series of fibrous rods into a gel substance and then dissolving the rods, leaving a series of longitudinal channels. These channels are then injected with peptides, molecules that stimulate cell adhesion and migration. "When nerve cells are placed at the opening of the channel, the peptides act like breadcrumbs to follow," says Molly Shoichet, lead author and professor of chemical engineering and applied chemistry at U of T’s Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME).


According to Shoichet, the technique is part of an overall strategy to repair spinal cord injuries where the spine is cut in two. After joining the ends of the severed spine with a tube, researchers would then fill this tube with the gel channels and peptides to stimulate nerve cell growth and bridge the gap between the two ends. "We need cells to grow in a specific direction to minimize that distance, thereby reducing the time for regeneration," says Shoichet, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering. "A longitudinal channel - a straight line - is the minimum distance between two points."

The research, which has yet to be tested in animal models or humans, was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology.

Karen Kelly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Seeing on the Quick: New Insights into Active Vision in the Brain
15.08.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht New Approach to Treating Chronic Itch
15.08.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular switch detects metals in the environment

15.08.2018 | Materials Sciences

Seeing on the Quick: New Insights into Active Vision in the Brain

15.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>