MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. According to the Star Tribune, University of Minnesota researchers have started using 3-D printers to create “scaffolds” that can contain neuron stem cells that can then be used to repair spinal cord damage. While medical professionals have been able to print plastic scaffolds using live cells, it is only recently that researchers have been able to print scaffolds able to preserve the sensitive neural cells within them. Until recently, the cells would have been damaged during the printing process. The stem cells used in the scaffold are capable of producing brain cells and spinal cord cells. The body on its own isn’t able to regenerate spinal cord cells, which is why spinal cord injuries are so devastating. A severed spinal cord cannot be repaired and can lead to paralysis and loss of sensation below the level of injury.
According to the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, stem cells have shown great promise in their ability to regenerate spinal cord cells, which the body, on its own, cannot produce. Stem cells are present in a human embryo and they migrate to different parts of the body to create the differentiated cells of the body. Stem cell treatment has also been considered for traumatic brain injury because the brain, on its own, doesn’t replace brain cells.
Engineers has previously used the scaffolds to encourage nerve cells in other parts of the body to grow. But the Star Tribune reports that it was difficult to encourage spinal cord cells to do the same. According to the Star, 17,000 new spinal cord injuries occur each year. For patients who suffer this type of injury, the effect can be life-altering, expensive, and require months to years of rehabilitation.
Spinal cord injury can be incredibly costly for victims and their families. In addition to the major lifestyle changes that victims face, families may struggle to pay medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, and struggle to afford the cost of home adaptations and equipment. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury in Minneapolis, Minnesota due to the neglect or negligence of another person or party, you may be entitled to seek damages for your losses. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino is a personal injury attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota who works closely with victims and families. The better quality rehabilitation patients receive, the better chances they have to enjoy independent higher-quality lives. Unfortunately, higher quality rehabilitation can be quite costly. Victims of spinal cord injury often need teams of rehabilitation professionals helping them with vocational, physical, and emotional concerns that arise after this type of injury. Access to cutting-edge medical treatment is also essential. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino can help you navigate the challenges that follow spinal cord injury. There are many promising studies on the horizon. Let us work with you to help you rebuild your life.
THE LAW OFFICE OF MARTIN T. MONTILINO, LLC
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Minneapolis, MN 55408
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