JAN 06, 2019 02:47 PM PST

Developing Tissue-engineered Discs to Treat Bad Backs

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

As we age, the discs of padding that sit between our vertebrae begin to wear down, which is a common cause of back pain. Right now, the only treatments for degenerated discs are costly spinal fusion surgeries that can lead to a loss of flexibility, and the breakdown of nearby discs. This video from Science describes a therapeutic that may one day be an option for the many people that suffer from this problem.

A team of researchers is aiming to create an implant that can replace degenerated discs. They began with a cylinder of polymer gel and added cells that could grow around it. They implanted those discs, and in the video, you can see the research subjects - goats that tolerated their implants well. 

Source: Science

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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