The bionic spinal cord bridge: Combined therapies for neural regeneration
Spinal cord regeneration following injury is a complex challenge. Despite evidence that rehabilitation, electrical stimulation and cell transplant approaches can partially improve spinal nerve regrowth, no isolated solution has significant patient outcomes. In this project a combined approach will bring together stem cell transplants with electrical stimulation as a bionic spinal cord device to guide growth of new, healthy neurons across the injured tissue. The device will be designed and bench tested to establish conditions required to promote development of functional spinal cord nerves. Subsequently, studies will investigate the use of rehabilitation techniques in combination with the implant to investigate the effects of combined therapies upon spinal cord repair and recovery.