Neuroscience and medicine

Main role in the project:

In-vivo studies in paralyzed rats and functional assessment by electrophysiology and live imaging.
The Health Service of Castilla-La Mancha (Spanish: Servicio de Salud de Castilla-La Mancha, SESCAM) is the public agency responsible for the system of public health services in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain). The National Hospital for Paraplegics (Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos) in Toledo is operated by SESCAM and has two research groups participating in Piezo4Spine.

Research groups:

Involved principal investigator: Dr. Juliana M Rosa
The goal of the group is to understand how circuits of neurons and astroglia cells encoding sensory stimuli are remodeled after traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries to give rise to new patterns of sensorimotor behavior. Main research lines: In their current and future work, they aim to:
  1. Determine the role of cortical and thalamic astrocytes in the processing of sensory information in health and after traumatic CNS injuries.
  2. Study the relationship between alterations in local neuronal circuits within somatosensory cortical and thalamic regions and the appearance of sensory pathologies associated to traumatic spinal cord and brain injury.
  3. Explore and develop new strategies to manipulate the astrocyte-neuron interaction to promote neural circuits repair and functional recovery after CNS injuries.
Involved principal investigator: Elisa López Dolado, MD, PhD,

The Laboratory of Interfaces for Neural Repair (LINER) was born as an independent research laboratory in the Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos in January, 2017. LINER research focuses on the design and development of new biomaterials useful to serve as interfaces with the injured central neural tissue and able to represent novel therapeutic alternatives for the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI). Among the materials currently under investigation, both graphene oxide due to its extraordinary physic-chemical properties and natural polymers (e.g. chitosan, gelatin, hyaluronic acid) due to their high biocompatibility deserve special attention.

In July, 25th, 2017, they created the Joint Research Unit “Design and development of biomaterials for neural repair” between the National Hospital for Paraplegics and the Institute of Materials Science in Madrid (CSIC). Through this unit, they maintain an intensive collaboration between LINER and the Group of Materials for Medicine and Biotechnology (MAMBIO) from the ICMM-CSIC, of which Dr. M. Concepción Serrano is a member (Piezo4Spine coordinator).

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