When you’re paralyzed, your ability to move and move independently is limited.
But a team of researchers at Stanford University and the University of Florida says that a technology that’s been developed for spinal injuries could be a big help.
The researchers are now testing the technology in the spinal cord injury population and are excited to have received a patent for their work.
“The invention may eventually be used for the treatment of a wide range of spinal injuries, from paralysis to chronic traumatic encephalopathy,” the patent reads.
“Specifically, the invention provides a way to induce and stabilize the spinal fluid of patients who have been paralyzed with spinal cord injuries.”
“The invention is particularly applicable for patients with a spinal cord or spinal cord and spinal cord trauma, because it may allow the patients to move independently and potentially even to perform motor tasks such as running,” Dr. Matthew B. Rinaldi, a professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering at Stanford and the lead author of the patent, said in a press release.
The invention provides an additional mechanism for spinal cord rehabilitation and could eventually be useful in treating spinal injuries that affect the entire spinal cord, according to the patent.
It’s currently being tested in a trial of spinal cord surgery patients and a clinical trial of patients with spinal pain.
It’s not clear how long the technology will be used, but Rinaldo said the team is excited to be working on developing and testing it.
“We are working to bring it to the marketplace and hopefully to be ready to start commercializing it in the next year or two,” he said.
The patent is listed on a website for the project, and a company called Neural-Stimulation Technology has already received funding to develop the technology.