In the near future, doctors might be able to say with full conviction and confidence to paralyzed patients, “Get up, pick up your bed, and go home. After you settle the bill, that is.” Why do we say so? Aren’t paralyzed patients going to remain that way unless something unexplainable and miraculous happen? Apparently not – there is technology being developed by Swiss researchers who are looking into a bendy e-Dura implant that will merge flexible electrodes which are made of platinum and silicon microbeads, alongside cracked gold electronic tracks and fluidic microchannels so that it can deliver both electrical impulses and chemicals all the while mimicking the spine’s movements, avoiding friction at the same time.
Tests performed on paralyzed rats in lab tests saw those rats being able to walk again after a matter of weeks, although those rats will need to wear their respective implants after a couple of months.
It will be some time before these e-Dura implants make their way into human field trials and arrive at hospitals. However, the scientists behind this idea is optimistic of the technology’s potential, where it would be able to handle far more than just overcoming spinal cord injuries, as they are looking into using it to treat the likes of epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, the reduction of chronic pain, and the like.