Research Funding Opportunities Regenerative Medicine for the Spinal Cord
The stem cells are implanted near the site of injury to connect to the existing cells and grow across the gap. The round structure around the cells is a thin tube used to allow the stem cells to grow through scar tissue.
So, scientists must provide not only healthy cells but also a healhy envirnoment and a pathway through the scar. Scientists are developing a method that involves using very thin tubes, thinner than human hair, as scaffolds. These are placed in the injured area, crossing the scar tissue and carrying stem cells and neuron cell growth factors! This allows the stem cells to grow into neurons and sprout new axons - so communication is re-established.