NanoSpin - Nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery for spinal cord injuries
Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal
Between 250,000 and 500,000 people suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI) each year. Symptoms vary greatly, and can include permanent loss of motor function, chronic pain, loss of bowel or bladder control, and more.
Since recovery after SCI is directly correlated to degree of regeneration, current research has been focused on promoting axon growth at the injury site. However, central neurons have an extremely limited regeneration capacity, and no study has achieved clinically significant results thus far.
The researchers have developed an innovative therapy, called NanoSpin, in which nanoparticles loaded with pro-regeneration drugs are delivered to the injured neurons. Their approach involves a gradient release, which both inhibits glial scar formation that can prevent complete functional recovery and activates neuronal regeneration mechanisms. They are currently working towards the preclinical validation of this technology.