Dr. Sergio Canavero is the surgeon behind the world’s first human head transplant. The doctor now say the surgery is less than eight months away from becoming a reality, scheduled for December.
Sergio claims to have successfully attached a living mouse head to a rat and both severed and reattached the spines of mice.
The doctor has said he would use a fusogen (sealant) comprised of polyethylene glycol (PEG). This gel substance works like a ‘glue’, he calls it glue. The substance is nothing new, PEG is used in both biological and commercial applications, including laxatives and skin cream.
Canavero said he’d been studying the concept of a full body transplant for more than a decade before he picked up Mary Shelley’s book, Frankenstein. After reading it, he realized his procedure lacked a critical component: electricity.
The surgeon hasn’t elaborated on the role electricity will play in the operation, however James FitzGerald, a consulting neurosurgeon at the University of Oxford, said PEG can be paired with “large pulses of electricity” to coax fibers into merging.
“Electricity has the power to speed up regrowth,” he said. This is the solution to spinal cord fusion.
A successful human head-transplant, seems improbable; yet it must be considered. The ramifications of being able to reconnect spinal tissue go far beyond solving paralysis, it offers a second chance at life.
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