Monday, March 13, 2006

Nano Helps Researchers Restore Vision In Rodents Blinded By Brain Damage

A forthcoming MIT study will certainly help nano proponents make their case. The study--which will be published in the next issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences--discusses a medical application of nanotechnology which may open up new ways of treating effects of spinal cord injuries, serious stroke and severe traumatic brain injuries.
"Rodents blinded by a severed tract in their brains' visual system had their sight partially restored within weeks, thanks to a tiny biodegradable scaffold invented by MIT bioengineers and neuroscientists.

This technique, which involves giving brain cells an internal matrix on which to regrow, just as ivy grows on a trellis, may one day help patients with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and stroke.

The study, which will appear in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the week of March 13-17, is the first that uses nanotechnology to repair and heal the brain and restore function of a damaged brain region."

(For the full Medical News Today report, click here.)

Update: Here's the link to the PNAS article.