Researchers from the Northwestern University (Illinois, United States) have developed a injectable therapy what do you use synthetic molecules ‘dancers’ to reverse paralysis and repair tissue after severe spinal cord injury in mice. The results of the experimental study are presented in the latest issue of the journal Science.
Samuel I. Stupp, leader of the work, explains to SINC that the molecules used “are synthetic peptides that include a biological signal that can activate the repair and regeneration of damaged tissues. “The team administered a single injection in the tissues surrounding the spinal cord of paralyzed rodents and, four weeks later, the animals were able to walk again.
The molecules used are synthetic peptides that include a biological signal to activate the repair and regeneration of damaged tissues in the spinal cord.
Samuel I. Stupp
– Job leader
The therapy developed by Stupp and his team “consists of [inyectar] nanoscale filaments containing hundreds of thousands of synthetic peptides linked together. This architecture mimics the natural matrix that surrounds the cells of the spinal cord and other tissues. ”
The researcher adds: “The filaments dissolve first in water when injected, but as soon as they come into contact with the living tissues of the marrow, the liquid gels forming a matrix that resembles the natural matrix that surrounds all cells. “.
The key discovery was that “when the molecules that form the filaments that carry the regeneration and repair signals move, they are much more effective. This was not known before, hence the advancement that our therapy represents,” stresses Stupp.
Constant motion of molecules
This expert in regenerative medicine explains that “the receptors of neurons and other cells are constantly moving. For this reason, the innovation has consisted in controlling the collective movement of more than 100,000 molecules within the nanofibers. Making them move, ‘dance’ or even temporarily jump out of these structures, known as supramolecular polymers, to connect more effectively with receivers ”
The key innovation has been to control the collective movement of more than 100,000 molecules within the nanofibers. Making them move, ‘dance’ or even jump to more effectively connect with receptors
Spinal cord damage caused by traffic accidents, explosions, shooting or sports injuries are usually irreversible. However, says Stupp, “our therapy sends signals to damaged or severed spinal cord neurons telling them to regenerate, build new blood vessels, and form myelin, a substance that surrounds neurons to send electrical signals between the brain and the rest of the body in both directions and that allow us to feel and move. ”
In addition, it highlights that this treatment “also reduces the formation of scars that prevent regeneration of damaged neurons, by regrowing the axons cut – the electrical cables that transmit signals – and helps save motor neurons, which are what allow us to move. ”
Once the treatment works, the injected materials biodegrade into nutrients for the cells within 12 weeks and then completely disappear from the body without noticeable side effects.
The experimental treatment sends signals to damaged or severed neurons in the spinal cord telling them to regenerate, build new blood vessels, and form myelin.
The goal of our research is to find a solution that prevents people from being paralyzed after trauma or illness, “says Stupp.” This remains a great challenge because the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, does not have an ability to repair itself after an injury or after the onset of a degenerative disease. ”
Application to the FDA for human trials
The leader of the work also comments to SINC that in 2022 they plan to contact the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to indicate the necessary requirements to “start trials in human patients.”
Stupp believes that the concept developed in this study could also be used for future therapies for other diseases. “The tissues of the central nervous system that we have successfully regenerated in the injured spinal cord [de ratones] are similar to those in the brain affected by strokes and neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s “, he concludes.