Israeli biotech company paves a new way in healing injured spinal cords

The company successfully used human implants for replacing the injured spinal cord of a living pig, thereby simulating the anticipated surgical procedure in humans.

 Piglets at a pig farm. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Piglets at a pig farm.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Spinal cord injuries are notoriously difficult to operate on, but an Israeli biotech company has opened a new road on the way to a cure using pigs.

The Israeli biotech company Matricelf reported today that it has successfully completed another usability trial with human implants (neural implants originating from human tissues) for replacing the injured spinal cord of a live pig. The company is developing autologous (bone marrow) implants for the regeneration of damaged tissues by using stem cells and external stem cell components from the patients themselves.

The trial in the live pig is done to mirror the anticipated surgical procedure in humans, both in terms of the flow of brain and spinal fluids and in terms of the bleeding that might occur close to the injury. During the trial, two neurosurgeons positioned the human implants developed by the company in the pig’s spinal cord.

After the neurosurgeons finished placing the implants, they followed up with the procedure of suturing the membranes surrounding the spinal cord as is done in humans. The trial was completed with major success.

“We are delighted to announce that the implants developed by the company, designed for treating traumatic injuries to the spinal cord have been successfully placed in the spinal cord of a living pig,” Matricelf VP of R&D Dr. Tamar Harel Adar said.  

 Piglets at a pig farm. (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Piglets at a pig farm. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Matricelf CEO Dr. Asaf Toker noted, “This is an important milestone in strengthening the company’s technological knowledge and advances us towards the vision we have set for ourselves – to be a world-leading Israeli company in the field of tissue engineering.”

Matricelf was founded in 2019 and has been traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange since June 2021.