According to professor of neuroscience and director of the Translational Neuroscience Institute at UC San Diego School of Medicine, “Axons are the long, threadlike extensions on nerve cells that reach out to connect to other cells”.
According to Co-senior author Shaochen Chen, Ph.D., professor of nanoengineering and a faculty member in the Institute of Engineering in Medicine at UC San Diego, “Like a bridge, it aligns regenerating axons from one end of the spinal cord injury to the other. Axons by themselves can diffuse and regrow in any direction, but the scaffold keeps axons in order, guiding them to grow in the right direction to complete the spinal cord connection”.
According to co-first author Wei Zhu, Ph.D., nanoengineering postdoctoral fellow, “This shows the flexibility of our 3D printing technology. Vascularization is one of the main obstacles in engineering tissue implants that can last in the body for a long time”.