Cybernetic Spine Implant Restores Movement In Tests

Flexible Ribbon Replaces Brain Functions


A hi-tech spinal implant could give hope to paralysed people after laboratory tests confirmed its effectiveness.

The e-Dura device, a flexible ribbon embedded with electronics and drug delivery mechanisms, was developed by scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

It mimics soft tissue around the spine to prevent rejection by the body, and can remain implanted for up to ten years before it needs to be replaced. Chemicals and electrodes in the device effectively take over the brain's role by stimulating nerves.

In tests, paralysed rats fitted with the ribbon were able to walk again after just a few weeks of training.

"Our e-Dura implant can remain for a long period of time on the spinal cord or cortex," said Professor Stéphanie Lacour of the Institute.

"This opens up new therapeutic possibilities for patients suffering from neurological trauma or disorders, particularly individuals who have become paralyzed following spinal cord injury."

It is believed the e-Dura could also help patients with epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and those needing pain management. The team anticipates clinical trials in humans within the next few years.

Our expert serious injury lawyers will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved one has suffered a serious spinal injury. See our Spinal Injury Compensation Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
A great number of fantastic developments are being seen in terms of research on new systems and tools designed to help and support those with disabilities and severely injured people.

"This is further evidence of the pioneering work being seen across the globe and, while there remains much to be done in this area, it all points towards a positive future."
Stephen Nye, Partner