People with degenerated or diseased spinal discs have a great hope to lead a normal life with the help of new synthetic spinal discs. Now Cornell University engineers in Ithaca with doctors at Weill Cornell Medical College in NYC have invented artificial spine that will not be harsh on the bearers. The new synthetic spinal discs are made from the biological material collagen and hydrogel that not just gives the patient complete flexibility on spine but also improves in performance as the duration passes. This sounds little weird and opposite to what usually happens with the implants, i.e., wear and tear with time; but this is what makes the synthetic spine more reliable and a better option for the patients.
Drs. Larry Bonassar and Roger Härtl are two key people behind this invention. “Our implants have maintained 80-90 percent of initial disc height. In fact, the mechanical properties only get better with time” says Dr. Bonassar. Dr. Härtl also explained how the new implants will have more advantage with lesser side effects, easy implantation and more flexibility, over previous used implants.
Earlier the implants were usually made out of metal or plastic that used to deteriorate with time, causing side effects to the people. Plus they could not provide much flexibility in back movement, thus the whole purpose of implant went in vain, at times.
The synthetic implants have been tested on rats and will soon be tested on bigger animals. Then comes our turn and humans might be able to maintain a perfect health with help of new synthetic implants.