Technology Focus

Brain, Nerve, & Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord and nerve damage can cause loss of motor and sensory function, resulting in significant patient disability. The exact physiologic mechanism underlying spinal cord injury is not fully understood but appears to involve several processes, including direct trauma, excitotoxicity, apoptosis, and inflammation.

Electrical & Burn Injury

Electrical injuries are a significant cause of permanent disability. In electrocution, a surge of electricity produces a large electrochemical gradient across cell membranes, destabilizing the membranes and leading to pore formation.

Myocardial Infarction

A myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack, occurs when a coronary artery is blocked, most commonly by a clot. This clot blocks blood flow, preventing oxygen from reaching part of the heart. Cells begin to die from lack of oxygen, creating a dying tissue mass called an infarct.

Military Trauma

Military trauma, unfortunately, includes a myriad of injuries, many of which have been addressed in our other areas of technology focus. Mechanical trauma (i.e., cuts, gunshot wounds, crush injuries, etc.), significant increase or decrease in temperatures within the body or outside of the body, shock waves (i.e., thunder), electrical shock, radiation, etc., can all cause cell death by disrupting cell membranes.

Organ Transplantation

Organ transplantation creates a stressful environment for tissues and cells. During organ transplantation, the cells may undergo several modes of injury. Currently, solutions composed of electrolytes, carbohydrates, membrane stabilizers, antioxidants, and buffers are added to the organs to prevent energy loss and increase the osmotic pressure of the solution. P188 is at the center of an effective strategy to promote cell wound healing and improve preservation in the stressful environment of organ transplantation.