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The subarachnoid administration of previously cryopreserved allogenic stromal cells in traumatic spinal lesion

16th national competition for scientific and technical research

Gene and regenerative therapy

Senior Researcher : Mercedes Zurita Castillo

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Research Centre or Institution : Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda. Madrid.


Traumatic injury to the spinal cord is a clinical entity that has been known since ancient times. It is highly important in medical as well as in social terms, given that it is one of the most important causes of disability, with very serious consequences for the personal, family and professional life of those who suffer this lesion. Great advances have taken place in the treatment of patients with spinal cord lesions over recent decades, although these centre on the prevention of complications, and although many lines of research are open in this field, there is still no effective treatment that is able to achieve the complete functional recovery of patients with traumatic spinal cord injury, whose deficits are usually permanent and irreversible in most cases. From the studies by Ramón y Cajal in 1914 to date, many publications have centred on the possibilities of regeneration of the spinal cord following traumatic paraplegia, using experimental models that involve enormous technical difficulty due to the need for long-term storage of paraplegic animals (Fraidakiset et al., 2004; Chopp et al., 2000; Hofstetter et al., 2002; Ohta et al., 2004; Parr et al., 2007, Zurita et al., 2004; 2006).

The aim of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of the subarachnoid administration of allogenic cryopreserved mesenchymal stem cells in an experimental model of chronic established traumatic paraplegia in adult pigs (minipigs), comparing the utility of this technique when subarachnoid administration is at a lumbar level or locally, around the zone of the spinal injury. The minipigs will be subjected to a traumatic lesion of the spinal cord at a dorsal level, causing complete and irreversible paraplegia that will be allowed to become chronic before the transplant of the stem cells.

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