The zealous immune response to injuries is known to cause paralyzing damage in spinal cord injury (SCI).
Engineers have now created unique nanoparticles that redirect immune cells away from the spinal cord, promoting regeneration that helped restore spinal cord function in mice. The study was funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).
The spinal cord, similar to the brain, has a blood-brain barrier that guards the fragile nerves against possible damage from numerous assaults; for example, it blocks immune cells from migrating to the site of injury to clean up debris.
This blood-brain barrier gets damaged when a traumatic injury occurs in the spinal cord, and the quick influx of immune cells produces an environment that tries to rapidly shore-up the injury but, at the same time, blocks regenerative processes that can effectively reconstruct and reconnect fragile damaged nerves.
Now, a method has been developed by NIBIB-grantee Lonnie Shea, PhD, the Steven A Goldstein Collegiate Professor, Biomedical engineering, and his coworkers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to overcome this problem.
This technique involves redirecting several immune cells away from the site of injury and simultaneously inducing those cells that do reach the SCI to change to an anti-inflammatory profile. This creates factors that promote a regenerative healing process, which can help restore function.
The novel method has been reported in the July edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Image Credit: iStock
News This Week
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have designed a new face mask that they believe could stop viral particles as effectively as N95 masks. Unlike N95 masks, the new masks were designed [...]
Doctors may be missing signs of serious and potentially fatal brain disorders triggered by coronavirus, as they emerge in mildly affected or recovering patients, scientists have warned. Neurologists are on Wednesday publishing details of [...]
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have developed a safer and more efficient way to deliver a promising new method for treating cancer and liver disorders and for vaccination -- including a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna [...]
Despite its advantages over other vaccine technologies for Covid-19, adenovirus vector vaccines are likely to be tripped up by pre-existing antibodies to the vectors used and the need for a second injection to boost [...]
When the first coronavirus cases in Chicago appeared in January, they bore the same genetic signatures as a germ that emerged in China weeks before. But as Egon Ozer, an infectious-disease specialist at the Northwestern University [...]
Park Systems presents “NanoScientific Symposium on Nano Applications for a Changing World” sponsored by Physics World and Nanotechnology World Association. Park Systems launched this online event for researchers and scientists in nanoscience and nanotechnology [...]
Notwithstanding the wishful thinking of certain irresponsible and incompetent public figures, the only options to control and deal with the spread of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are fast, cheap, reliable, [...]
From the Annals of Neurology: In less than 6 months, the severe acute respiratory syndrome‐coronavirus type 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) has spread worldwide infecting nearly 6 million people and killing over 350,000. Initially thought to be restricted [...]
A cheap steroid has become the first life-saving treatment in the Covid-19 pandemic, described by scientists as a major breakthrough and raising hopes for the survival of thousands of the most seriously ill. Dexamethasone [...]
Clinical researchers are this week set to begin human trials of a new coronavirus vaccine developed by researchers at Imperial College London. The study will be the first time the vaccine has been trialled in humans [...]
A form of the novel coronavirus which has become the dominant type in much of the world may have done so thanks to a mutation that allows it to better latch onto human hosts’ [...]
A widely available and inexpensive drug that is used to ease the symptoms of indigestion may prove a worthy contender for treating COVID-19 infection in those whose disease doesn’t require admission to hospital, suggest [...]
One of the most common COVID-19 tests involves a long swab pressed deep into the nasal cavities – and while the test can be administered quickly, it has been described as unpleasant and uncomfortable. [...]
Nature wades through the literature on the new coronavirus — and summarizes key papers as they appear: 1 June — Positive coronavirus test is no guarantee of infectiousness People with COVID-19 are unlikely to [...]
In April, blood clots emerged as one of the many mysterious symptoms attributed to Covid-19, a disease that had initially been thought to largely affect the lungs in the form of pneumonia. Quickly after came [...]
Scientists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) developed an experimental diagnostic test for COVID-19 that can visually detect the presence of the virus in 10 minutes. It uses a simple assay [...]