Researchers from Purdue University have recently developed a new method of deliver treatments to brain injuries or spinal cord cells. They have combined silicon nanoparticles with a polymer (polyethylene glycol (PEG) and the antihypertensive drug hydralazine. This new method may be able to preserve both brain and spinal cord function after a person has undergone a traumatic brain injury when it is injected in specific brain area.

Borgens’ group had previously shown benefits of the polymer polyethylene glycol, or PEG, to treat rats with brain injuries and dogs with spinal cord injuries. PEG specifically targets damaged cells and seals the injured area, reducing further damage. It also helps restore cell function, Borgens said.

In the future researchers may increasingly get better at minimizing the damage associated with traumatic brain insults. They may also be able to repair that damage as well using stem cells.