Using new 3D printing technologies, researchers have developed a spinal cord implant that promotes nerve growth in injured sites and restore connections and lost function.

A team from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Institute of Engineering in Medicine have for the first time used a rapid 3D printing technique to produce a spinal cord littered with neural stem cells that they successfully implanted into the sites of rats with severe spinal cord injuries.

“In recent years and papers, we’ve progressively moved closer to the goal of abundant, long-distance regeneration of injured axons in spinal cord injury, which is fundamental to any true restoration of physical function,” co-senior author Mark Tuszynski, MD, PhD, a professor of neuroscience and director of the Translational Neuroscience Institute at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said in a statement.

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