Elastic implant ‘reverses paralysis’

An elastic implant that moves with the spinal cord can restore the ability to walk in paralysed rats, say scientists.

Implants are an exciting field of research in spinal cord injury, but rigid designs damage surrounding tissue and ultimately fail.

A team at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) has developed flexible implants that work for months.

It was described by experts as a “groundbreaking achievement of technology”.

The spinal cord is like a motorway with electrical signals rushing up and down it instead of cars.

Injury to the spinal cord leads to paralysis when the electrical signals are stuck in a jam and can no longer get from the brain to the legs.