Scientists Discovered a Biodegradable Tube for Treating Nerve Injuries

by Stephen Riddle
Scientists Discovered a Biodegradable Tube for Treating Nerve Injuries

Nerve injuries are challenging to cure, and nerve damage cannot be treated entirely. Around 600,000 nerve injuries take place every year. But a newly discovered decomposable bridge could progress treatment for such losses. When a person experiences serious nerve injuries, there are two common ways to treat it. The patients may opt for a nerve graft or use a pipe to assist the injured nerve to re-grow. So far, both methodologies have distinct drawbacks. But the latest variation on the present may succeed where other methods fail. Above all, detached nerves can re-grow on their own. But it is possible only when the gap between two detached ends is not more than one-third of an inch. In case the distance is more, the re-growing nerve basically oversights the target. Sometimes, it even leads to a painful nerve-tissue ball called a neuroma.

Thus, experts prefer nerve grafting when it comes to bridging gaps in regions like arms. The procedure includes the removal of a long, extremely thin nerve from the patient’s back. After that, surgeons slice the nerve into three parts and tie them together crossways. The bundle eventually forms a denser length of nerve material. In the end, they sew the bundle of nerves onto the endpoints of the damaged nerve. But the procedure may result in permanent insensitivity in the donor’s leg. Even more, if we use the process for the motor nerve, there are only 40-60% chances of returning the original functionality of the nerve.

A team of researchers has assessed a synthetic conduit that can fill the gap between large nerves by managing the restoration of neurons. They have discovered a small, tube-like device that comprises a biodegradable polyester having microspheres. The device emits GDNF, which is a protein that assists neurons to survive, which is implanted in the wall of the tube. Notably, the animals involved in the trial have regained motor skills after gaining the conduits. The team has published the study on Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

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