Innovative design of chitosan-based hydrogel to treat Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injury (SCI) refers to damage to the spinal cord resulting from trauma or from disease or degeneration. The estimated annual global prevalence is between 250 000 and 500 000 people.
The financial implications associated with living with SCI depends on the severity of the injury and also the age at which the injury occurs but estimated lifetime cost is evaluated between1.5 to 4.7 Millions USD.
SCI has a major impact on health and economy and yet, there is no cure allowing an important functional recovery.
Teams from the University Pierre and Marie Curie and the University Claude Bernard have designed a scaffold material for SCI treatment.
The present innovation is a class III medical device, a hydrogel made of chitosan and water. After injection into the lesion site, the biomaterial promotes the regeneration of axons and remyelination, functionnalized vasculature allowing an important functional recovery (coordinated locomotion).
Biomaterials were implanted in rats. Results show that biomaterials promoted cell survival, reconstitution of spinal tissue and vasculature and diminished fibrous glial scarring. At the lesion site, the environment became permissive for regrowth of numerous axons which are myelinated. Finally, this structural remodeling was associated with significant, long-lasting gain in locomotor function recovery.