The nose cells that may help the paralysed walk again
Surgeons in London to try revolutionary stem cell technique on crash victims
Sarah Boseley, health editor
Wednesday November 30, 2005
Surgeons will attempt early next year to mend the severed nerves of young people who have suffered motorbike accidents in the first trial of a simple but potentially revolutionary technology that could one day allow the paralysed to walk again.
At least ten operations will be carried out to test in humans a technique pioneered in animals by the neuroscientist Geoffrey Raisman, who heads the spinal repair unit of University College, London. He discovered 20 years ago that cells from the lining of the nose constantly regenerate themselves. Professor Raisman's team believes that if those cells were implanted at the site of the damage they would build a bridge across the break, allowing the nerve fibres to knit back together.