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Development of an ultrasound responsive implant to treat spinal cord injury

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Sachin Thakur
Professor Darren Svirskis
Dr Brad Raos
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Emerging Researcher First Grant
Lay summary
Spinal cord injury is devastating and incurable with a relatively high prevalence in New Zealand. Growth factors are known to help recovery, although it is not currently possible to deliver appropriate amounts to the site of injury. Separately, ultrasound is also known to have healing properties and has shown to improve the effectiveness of growth factors. In this project, we will investigate the combination of controlled growth factor delivery and ultrasound to treat spinal cord injury. Using a cell-based model of spinal cord injury, we will develop a growth factor-loaded gel that can be placed at the site of injury with waves of growth factor release achieved in response to therapeutic ultrasound. This project will develop a growth factor delivery system suitable for clinical use to improve outcomes in patients with spinal cord injury.