Exploring Cellular and Gel-Based Methods for Spinal Disk Regeneration

In a transformative journey of personal and academic pursuit, Maria Astudillo Potes, an Ecuadorian native and current student in the United States, has directed her research towards developing innovative treatments for spinal injuries, driven by her own family’s ordeal.

Her academic expedition has led her to enroll in the M.D./Ph.D. program at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, where her focus is on spine surgery improvement and spinal disk health enhancement. Through her rigorous studies, Astudillo Potes is exploring methods to reinstate the structural stability of the spine in the aftermath of injury or degenerative diseases.

“It becomes a multifaceted challenge when a vertebral fracture or degenerative condition compromises the spine’s stability. The repercussions extend beyond the patient, impacting their families as well,” Astudillo Potes expressed. Her motivation is grounded in the aim to assist patients in reclaiming spine wellness, by methods that could range from fusing fractured vertebrae to mending degenerative disks, ultimately alleviating pain, restoring mobility, and hindering disability in daily activities.

The Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics at Mayo Clinic is at the forefront of educating a new wave of professionals in state-of-the-art cell and gene therapies, with an objective to cultivate a future workforce adept in regenerative biomanufacturing, purposed to transition innovative technologies to patient treatments.

Source: Mayo Clinic

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