Spinal cord implants

To walk again

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a life-altering neurological injury that causes substantial reductions in independence and quality of life. Approximately 1,800 Canadians suffer spinal cord injuries each year. Tragically 51.6% of these injuries occur in individuals between the ages of 16-30.

Dr. Vivian Mushahwar and her team have developed a spinal implant to restore the ability to walk for those who suffer SCI, resulting in better health, more independent living, and a longer life expectancy.

The project

The primary objective of this study is to test the long-term functionality of a spinal cord micro-implant, developed to restore long distance walking in an animal model with spine and spinal cord size and morphology that closely resemble those of humans.  

The goal of this study is to: 

  1. Develop a prototype of the micro-implant suitable for evaluating long-term functionality in adult Yucatan pigs. 
  2. Evaluate the safety and stability of the system in pigs with and without SCI. 
  3. Evaluate the capacity of the system in producing functional over-ground walking after chronic, severe SCI.  

The outcomes of this study will be critical in advancing the micro-implant towards regulatory approvals in preparation for first-in-human testing. 

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