Spinal cord injuries (SCI) is an insult to the spinal cord caused from motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports injuries etc and can result in a change in its normal motor, sensory, or autonomic function.
Currently, there are no effective treatment for SCI patients to fully restore its function.
Cambridge, MA based InVivo Therapeutics is developing a new paradigm of care to SCI. InVivo intends to create biocompatible polymer scaffold to support a damaged spinal cord in order to stop tissue from scarring after injury.
By minimizing these secondary injury processes, and by supporting subsequent repair and recovery, the body can locally reorganize toward functional recovery through the spared healthy tissue. This process, known as neuroplasticity, may result in partial functional recovery.
The porous biopolymer scaffold is built from polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and polylysine. PLGA degrades naturally inside the body without the need to remove it and it is approved by the FDA for applications like tissue engineering.
Invivo plans to set up 46 3D printers and batch processes at their new plant in Cambridge to create the scaffolds. They are still in the process of evaluating how to manufacture the scaffolds, but the company hopes to begin clinical trials in the next year.
"Our technology is a true platform that can be leveraged to create many products, including treatments for peripheral nerve injury and other conditions. We're currently under review at FDA for our first spinal cord injury treatment, and we look forward to receiving approval to begin those human studies," said Frank Reynolds, CEO of Invivo.
In U.S. the market potential for treatment for paralysis caused by SCI is estimated to be in excess of $10 billion, Invivo Therapeutics says that its unit is expected to cost $60,000, but it could exceed $100,000 per unit.
Watch the video below Professor Dr. Robert Langer Sc.D. talked about InVivo Therapeutics' Scaffold Technology.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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