Biomedical Engineering : Research

Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Biomedical Engineering is committed to investigation, innovation and translation of scientific discoveries to enhance patient care. Medical innovation is at the heart of our mission – indeed, our "calling" – and we have a proven track record of patenting and product commercialization.

Curing Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury (SCI) has devastating effects on those affected for the rest of their lives. According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, more than one million people in the U.S. are living with paralysis due to SCI. Patients with SCI also suffer from other serious complications, such as bladder and bowel problems, heart disorders, and low blood pressure. The costs of living with SCI are considerable, and this condition affects the lives of family members as well, many of whom become round-the-clock caregivers. Despite advances in medical and surgical care, current clinical therapies for SCI are limited. The major challenge is how to repair the injured spinal cord. In our laboratory research, we have shown in a model of traumatic SCI that the injured spinal cord can indeed be repaired, with paralyzed muscles and nerves being restored so that movement is possible again. Our treatment involves a single dose injection of regenerative therapy that target the injured spinal cord to begin the repair process. If we can successfully move this research into clinical practice, we can make a real, positive impact on the lives of the many who suffer from SCI.

Summary: Dr Labhasetwar’s team have developed a novel therapy to potentially cure certain spinal cord injuries.

See also: Labhasetwar Lab