Matricelf, an Israeli biotechnology company, recently performed a new type of test with 3D printed human spinal cord tissue on paralyzed mice that enabled them to walk again, paving a way for what could possibly be a remarkable way of treating humans with spinal cord injuries in the future. This 3D bioprinting technology, developed by Tel Aviv University was tested on mice with both acute and chronic paralysis. The results from the tests showed that all mice with acute paralysis regained the ability to walk. The success rate in mice with chronic paralysis was 80%.
The technique involves 3D printing cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) derived from patients to produce living tissues which ultimately help create the spinal cord implant. The diagrams below show the process in detail. Currently undergoing patent approval, this same technique was used in 2019 to produce the world’s first 3D printed heart in 2019.
Matricelf is talking to the US Food and Drug Administration to start its first human clinical trial of its 3D printed spinal cord implants by the end of 2024 while continuing to conduct tests on lab rats. Tens of thousands of paralyzed individuals can benefit from this technology in the future who are keen to restore their motor, sensory, and autonomic functions.
Learn more about Matricelf in the video below and read more about this study in the paper Regenerating the Injured Spinal Cord at the Chronic Phase by Engineered iPSCs-Derived 3D Neuronal Networks.
Source: 3D Printing Industry