Reengineering the Human Body

spine, InVivo, sci, sci/d, spinal cord injury
Illustration by Jonathon Rosen
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The Spine

Hoping to become the first company to effectively treat spinal cord injury, InVivo Therapeutics, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has developed a biodegradable polymer. The substance can be injected into the spinal cord and forms a "scaffold" that reduces cell death and helps to support and repair the spinal cord. If the treatment works, it could dramatically reduce the lifetime cost of caring for those suffering from paralysis, which can rise to more than $3 million per patient.