Chinese scientists have used a biomaterial "scaffolds" to treat spinal cord injuries, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced on Thursday.
Acute, complete spinal cord injury patients have been implanted with collagen-based scaffold developed by Chinese scientists for neuroregeration and are recovering well.
In spinal cord injury cases, neurons are damaged, resulting in a loss of sensation and muscle function. At present, there are more than two million people in China with spinal cord injuries, and the figure increases by 100,000 each year.
A team led by Dai Jianwu, researcher with the CAS Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, first proposed building a microenvironment with biomaterial that would help regeneration of neurons, the CAS said.
"We attached mesenchymal stem cells to a scaffold then implanted it in the injured spinal cord," said Dai.
The first patient received the treatment on April 22, 2015 and is now able to walk with hip braces. The mobility of the upper limbs of another patient has improved nine months after the surgery.
However, Dai admitted that they are not sure whether complete spinal order injury patients will fully recover or not.
Dai's team has repaired scarring wombs of infertile women with a similar method. (Xinhua)
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