Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis, and similar ailments affect hundreds of thousands in the U.S. alone. Both diseases are characterized by gradual neuron death, which eventually leads to paralysis or other complications. To reverse the progression of these diseases, our implant would be customized for an individual’s spinal cord and affected skeletal muscles, allowing glial or other accessory cells to be reprogrammed in order to replenish the lowered cell population.
Like neurodegenerative diseases, there is currently no effective treatment for muscular dystrophy, which can cause weakness and loss of bodily functions. The implant aspect of our technology would be critical in treating this condition, as the biochemical anchor sites for new cell populations would allow the regenerating muscle tissue to follow the implant as a structural guide, conforming to the geometry of a muscle tissue.
A serious injury to nerve tissue can result in the equivalent damage done over a period of many years of neurodegeneration in a single moment. This damage can range anywhere from numbness in a limb to permanent paralysis, and can affect anyone, from an athlete caught in an accident, to a driver caught in a crash, to a soldier abroad hit by an improvised explosive device. With advancements in processing power and medical 3D-printing, such an injury could be scanned and analyzed by a computer and a personalized implant printed out ready for surgical implantation by autonomous surgical robots in a matter of hours.
Congenital Heart Disorders
Millions of infants are born every year with developmental defects, including the relatively common congenital heart defects of the valves. If these defects are large and heart valves cannot heal themselves as the infant develops, surgical implants, often made of metal, are needed to correct the blood-flow. Metal implants have a history of large scale recalls as their long-term effects on the body are observed. If our personalized, dissolvable implants replaced modern heart implants, the young cardiac tissue would not only grow around the defect with improved strength and speed, but also never face the possibility of being harmed by a decaying, metal implant in the far future!