A team at MIT is working on a repair kit for spinal cord injuries. When the spinal cord is severed, growing new nerve cells is the only way to regenerate the cord. This isn’t currently possible but new research is looking at ways to use synthetic fibers to pass signals through damaged nerve cells. The fibers being developed by the team at MIT, funded by the National Science Foundation, can also be used as a type of scaffolding. When placed near damaged nerve cells, they can provide a platform on which new nerve cells can grow.
Once the nerve cells can regenerate in large enough numbers, the team hopes that paralysis can be reversed in some patients.