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Biologically Active Nanofibers – Paralyzed Limbs Move Again: November 26, 2008

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  • Biologically Active Nanofibers – Paralyzed Limbs Move Again: November 26, 2008

    Biologically Active Nanofibers – Paralyzed Limbs Move Again: November 26, 2008


    Researchers have developed a new material that enables mice with severe spinal cord injuries to regain movement in their paralyzed limbs within weeks. In combination with existing technologies, this new approach has the potential to considerably improve functional recovery in people following spinal cord injury



    Laminin, a protein found in connective tissue and space between cells, encourages nerve cells to grow new extensions during development or after injury. Scientists identified a string of five amino acids (IKVAV) in laminin that binds to cell surface proteins known as integrin receptors, which relay growth signals into the cell. Samuel Stupp, Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science, Chemistry, and Medicine at Northwestern University, is working with colleagues to harness the potential of this biological repair mechanism. Stupp’s team engineered a biologically active material, termed IKVAV peptide amphiphile (IKVAV PA), that organizes into nanostructures with an extremely high concentration of the IKVAV peptides on their surfaces. When exposed to salts in the body, IKVAV PA self-assembles into cylinder (tube)-shaped nanofibers. If the fibers are sufficiently concentrated, they form gels.

    Nanofibers Enable Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury

    more...

    http://www.nibib.nih.gov/HealthEdu/eAdvances/26Nov08

  • #2
    Dr. Young, do you agree with this statement? I know you have a different view regarding scar tissue.


    quote:

    Hope for the Paralyzed

    In a test tube, the bioactive nanofibers encouraged neural progenitor cells, the immature predecessors of cells in the central nervous system, to differentiate into neurons. If IKVAV PA can do the same in the human body, there is hope for recovery from chronic nerve injury, such as long-term paralysis. By stimulating these progenitor cells, even dead neurons could potentially be replaced. “It could be the same therapy, but a different strategy. After injury, some axons may die completely, and some may not be making the same connections. If you have a therapy that can somehow improve axonal regeneration, it would be worthwhile to do surgery that removes the scar and then apply therapy,” explains Stupp. The treatment could be applied to treat both central (brain) or peripheral (limbs) nervous system injuries.

    Thank you, manouli.

    Comment


    • #3
      "In a test tube, the bioactive nanofibers encouraged neural progenitor cells, the immature predecessors of cells in the central nervous system, to differentiate into neurons. If IKVAV PA can do the same in the human body, there is hope for recovery from chronic nerve injury, such as long-term paralysis"

      Very good find, Manouli!
      "It's not the despair, I can handle the despair! It's the hope!" - John Cleese

      Don't ask what clinical trials can do for you, ask what you can do for clinical trials. (Ox)
      Please join me and donate a dollar a day at http://justadollarplease.org and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.

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