In theory it should be possible to implant devices that send the right mix of electrical pulses and chemicals down the spinal cord to restore movement after paralysis. But the practical challenge is finding not only something that functions, but also that matches the soft tissue of the spinal cord.

Spinal injury researchers have tested various types of implants but have reached a roadblock; while the devices perform to begin with, in the longer term the soft and stretchy tissue in the spinal cord rubs against the rigid material.

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