NSF-funded researchers at the Georgia Tech/Emory
Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues have
developed a new injectable polymer that shows
promise for repairing bone defects, soft tissue
injuries and severe spinal cord injuries that are now
largely untreatable. The new polymer can be
directly injected into the
injured area, where the
material rapidly turns to a
semi-solid gel bridging gaps
and stabilizing damage.
In addition, cells and
bioactive agents, such as
proteins, can be embedded in
the gel to promote enhanced
regeneration of bone and
nerve cells. Gel insertion is minimally
invasive, and the polymer
can fill a wide range of gaps,
eliminating the need for specially fabricated inserts.
An injectable polymer holds promise to heal spinal cord injuries.