A polymer tube now solves one of the biggest challenges in science. Filled with protein that promotes growth, the biodegradable nerve guide of the tube helps regrowth of nerves that are damaged. And, this outcome comes with no frills such as stem cell transplant and requirement for donor nerve.
About the Study:
The development is a result of efforts put in by team of researchers from University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. And, it is noteworthy that the testing so far is on monkeys. More details of the research are present in the journal – Science Translational Medicine.
Kacey Marra, senior author of the research, explains the significance succinctly. She states that it is a one of a kind study. And, that how impressive it is that it shows how large gaps can see a successful plug-in with this approach. Basically, the nerve guide bridges over from the stump to muscle, even when the distance is 2 inch wide. Here, note that Marra is also a Ph.D. And a plastic surgery professor at the Pitt and Mc Gowan Institute. And, she claims that the study is a new benchmark in nerve grafting
Significance of Study Decoded:
Often soldiers return with serious injuries in the arms and legs. And, this is particularly true f the American soldiers, half of whom witness nerve damage and disability. But, soldiers are just one group. Even among the civilians nerve damage is common owing to crashes and accidents. And, sometimes even birth defects lead to the condition. Here, it is noteworthy that some 20 million Americans are experiencing the situation first hand.
So far, a distance of up to 2/3rd of an inch saw re-growth naturally. But, a longer section of the nerve posed problems. And, this often leads to neuroma – a painful condition in which nerves knot themselves in a ball.