Swiss scientists have developed a groundbreaking new robotic therapy that allows paralyzed rats to walk again.
Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology injected the rats’ severed spinal column with a “cocktail” of chemicals like dopamine, adrenaline, and seratonin, replacing the body’s natural neurotransmitters with new ones. Tiny electrodes then stimulated these neurons to coax the spinal cord back to life. Finally, the rats were fastened into a robotic harness, tempted by a piece of chocolate, and trained to use their paralyzed hind legs again for 30 minutes a day.
Within a few weeks, the rats began forging new nerve connections and were able to walk — and in some cases, sprint — as if they were never paralyzed.