Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, CSIC

MAG4Spinal aims to develop a novel therapy for spinal cord injury (SCI) based on the use of new magnetic scaffolds of high magnetic response as bio-implants, in combination with motor rehabilitation, to drive functional neural repair. This novel regenerative rehabilitation approach based on 3D-bioprinted scaffolds containing immunoactive modulators is expected to be per se capable of unblocking inherent neural regeneration mechanisms and promoting neural plasticity routes. The incorporation of highly magnetic responsive nano and superparticles functionalized with bioactive therapeutic agents will promote their release on-demand by wireless magnetothermal stimulation using approved high frequency magnetic fields. The bio-implants will also attain mechanical compliance with the spinal tissue, based on the pivotal role that mechanical aspects of implants play in their effectivity. One of the most exciting novelties of this proposal is the possibility to produce remotely in-vivo pulses of the implant in the desired direction by using low frequency magnetic fields. Therefore, such 3D magnetic bio-implant will be a novel and exceptionally robust smart biomaterial for delivering active agents at the lesion site, controlling time and dose with magnetic stimulation. Current advances on SCI therapies are based on rehabilitation, cell transplantation, drugs, biomaterials, and/or electrical stimulation. Although leading to partial sensory/motor recovery, chronic functional deficits remain limiting activities of daily living and shortening live expectancy in SCI patients, as they fail to successfully promote axon regeneration through the lesion and awake lost functions. The multidisciplinary research team proposed for the execution of MAG4Spinal combines scientific and clinical partners enriched by their interdisciplinarity envision to overcome limitations of current technologies and to develop a balanced combination of therapeutic interventions that will optimally promote functional recovery. This radical science-to-technology breakthrough could, if successful, enable not only novel technologies and therapies for SCI but also many other neural and non-neural pathologies in which neural regeneration is primarily pursued.