Crippled by multiple sclerosis, the lab mice's hind legs and tails were limp with paralysis, but Lisa Tostanoski had an idea about how she could treat them.
With a tiny needle, the doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park injected the mice with a dose of time-released medicine. Two weeks later the mice were scampering around their cages.
"They were able to stand up on their hind legs," Tostanoski said. "We reversed the paralysis."
The treatment, a complex combination of immunology and engineering, earned Tostanoski, 26, a prestigious Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, awarded to her and eight other students and teams earlier this month. The prize for the most promising young inventors in America awards her $15,000 for her medical invention to reverse symptoms of debilitating autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Her novel approach has shown promise for developing treatments in an area that has long eluded researchers.