Researchers at the University of Minnesota, Virginia Tech, the University of Maryland, the University of Princeton and Johns Hopkins University, has designed 3D printed prosthesis that guide to regenerate sensory and motor nerve functions after They are having suffered an injury.
Naturally, the repair of damaged nerves involves quite complex. Therefore, it is a very slow process that requires much time and the result is not always satisfactory, notes the Mayo Clinic.
Due to this circumstance, the patients who have been injured in an accident caused by a bacterial infection or otherwise, are forced to go through a long period of convalescence and rehabilitation, and unfortunately in many cases nerve damage it ends up being permanent.
However, this research team has good news for these patients. Scientists have discovered a way to accelerate nerve regeneration using an implant printed in 3D. To manufacture the prosthesis, have used a 3D scanner and various 3D printing techniques to produce a piece of silicone it integrates biochemical signals. This implant allows support to grow nerve, promoting regeneration.
In clinical trials that have been conducted in rats, this prosthesis has been used to regenerate the sciatic nerve and the results have been very promising: after about 10 or 12 weeks, the animals were able to walk again.
The next step is to do clinical trials on humans to test the feasibility of the invention. “Someday we hope to have a 3D scanner and a printer from the hospital to create custom prosthetics for these nerves and restore nerve function in patients” said Michael McAlpine, the University of Minnesota.