Rice University researchers have developed a way to combine graphene nanoribbons and common polymer to create a product that may prove critically important in healing damaged spinal cords. There are about 17,000 new spinal cord injuries every year in the United States, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
The Rice University research team has been exploring uses for graphene nanoribbons since 2009. Graphene is a form of carbon that bears a honeycomb latticework. Graphene nanoribbons are graphene of an ultra-thin width.
In this research case, graphene nanoribbons are used to buttress a common polymer and make it usable to knit a damaged spinal cord. There is now some hope that the combination of graphene nanoribbons and a polymer might even be able to address a severed spinal cord.
Thanks to the research at Rice University, practical applications have already been found for the process of combining graphene nanoribbons with other substances. These include enhancing airplane wing deicers and creating better-functioning batteries. The new material developed for medical purposes, including repairing damaged spinal cords, is being called Texas PEG.
A person who suffers a spinal cord injury because of someone else's negligence may be entitled to a range of compensation that includes medical expenses and lost wages. Depending on the circumstances, a victim might also receive punitive damages in a lawsuit. Punitive damages are awarded when a person is particularly reckless in causing an accident. An attorney may assist a person with spinal cord injuries in obtaining necessary and appropriate compensation. This can be accomplished through negotiation with an insurance company or via a lawsuit.