Spinal injuries can have wide-ranging consequences, including impairment, mobility issues and ongoing pain. Fortunately, new technological breakthroughs may improve outcomes for people with spine injuries.
At Rutgers University, a research team has developed a potential treatment involving therapeutic proteins, advanced robotics and artificial intelligence.
Spinal injury symptoms
The spinal cord relays signals between the central nervous system and the rest of the body. Spinal cord damage can lead to changes in movement, ability and sensation. Common symptoms of a spinal injury include numbness, tingling and pressure. Some people with spine injuries experience paralysis or lose the ability to move. Coordination problems and issues with walking can occur as well.
Currently, there are limited spine injury treatment options. Steroid injections can ease pain and swelling, and physical therapy may help restore mobility. However, full recovery is often difficult for people living with these injuries.
Therapeutic use of AI
Therapeutic proteins are molecules that can help repair tissues in the body, including those that make up the spinal cord. Currently, researchers are examining the use of therapeutic enzymes to treat scar tissue that prevents spine injuries from healing. These enzymes are volatile and expensive compounds.
A team of researchers from Rutgers University has explored using robotics and artificial intelligence to develop and create substances known as copolymers which can help stabilize the therapeutic enzymes. This innovation represents a breakthrough in the use of AI and robotics to treat severe injuries.
Artificial intelligence can enhance new treatments that can address the symptoms of spine injuries, including the use of therapeutic proteins to heal damaged tissues.