Some medicine specialities are more reminiscent of science fiction than reality, but the tremendous progress of the past decades is blurring the boundaries between the two and opening new and exciting perspectives for the future. This is particularly the case of nanomedicine, the medical application of nanotechnologies, and its promising applications in the fields of drugs, vaccines, imaging and regenerative medicine products.
Hundreds of thousands of new cases of spinal cord injury occur each year, disrupting the lives of patients and their families. There is currently no cure for damaged nerve functions, but promising new medical approaches are emerging. A pioneer and eminent figure in nanotechnology applied to neuroscience, Italian professor Maurizio Prato explores the possibility of constructing a prosthetic bridge in carbon nanotubes connecting the affected ends of the spinal cord. With the support of AXA Research Fund, he and his team have already achieved remarkably encouraging results: "We have shown that these tiny cables, 50,000 times smaller than a human hair, are able to effectively restore the electrical connection between whole pieces of spinal cord ".