A NIMS-Osaka University joint research team developed a mesh which can be wrapped around injured peripheral nerves to facilitate their regeneration and restore their functions.
A research team consisting of Mitsuhiro Ebara, MANA associate principal investigator, Mechanobiology Group, NIMS, and Hiroyuki Tanaka, assistant professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, developed a mesh which can be wrapped around injured peripheral nerves to facilitate their regeneration and restore their functions.
The NIMS-Osaka University joint research team recently developed a special mesh that can be wrapped around an injured nerve which releases vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) until the injury heals. By developing very fine mesh fibers (several hundred nanometers in diameter) and reducing the crystallinity of the fibers, the team successfully created a very soft mesh that can be wrapped around a nerve. This mesh is made of a biodegradable plastic which, when implanted in animals, is eventually eliminated from the body. In fact, experiments demonstrated that application of the mesh directly to injured sciatic nerves in rats resulted in regeneration of axons and recovery of motor and sensory functions within six weeks.
The team is currently negotiating with a pharmaceutical company and other organizations to jointly study clinical application of the mesh as a medical device to treat peripheral nerve disorders, such as CTS.
This study was supported by the JSPS KAKENHI program (Grant Number JP15K10405) and AMED’s Project for Japan Translational and Clinical Research Core Centers (also known as Translational Research Network Program).
This research was published online in the April 2017 issue of Acta Biomaterialia on February 5, 2017.
Contacts and sources:
National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)