In world-first, Tel Aviv University researchers have successfully engineered the 3D human spinal cord tissues. These Israeli scientists have effectively made paralyzed mice walk by implanting a lab-made spinal cord. They plan to do the same for humans in less than three years.
Researchers have grown spinal cord implants using tissue extracted from human volunteers. They implanted spinal cord implants into 15 mice with long-term paralysis. Out of them, twelve of the mice walked normally.
Researchers plan to “produce personalized spinal cord implants for every paralyzed person, enabling regeneration of the damaged tissue with no risk of rejection.”
According to WHO, every year, around the world, between 250 000 and 500 000 people suffer a spinal cord injury. This research will give a ray of hope to millions of people paralyzed due to spinal damage.
Prof. Dvir, head of Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology, concludes: “We hope to reach the stage of clinical trials in humans within the next few years, and ultimately get these patients back on their feet. The company’s preclinical program has already been discussed with the FDA. Since we are proposing an advanced technology in regenerative medicine, and since at present there is no alternative for paralyzed patients, we have good reason to expect relatively rapid approval of our technology.”
After this success, researchers are preparing for clinical trials on humans.