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Innovative implant and gel stimulates regrowth of damaged nerves

28th May 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Those who have limited mobility because of nerve damage were given hope this week after the details of a study into the repair of nerve endings were made public knowledge. These findings give real promise to those who rely on stairlifts, as they could find themselves needing to use them less frequently after further research and development into this idea.

In current medicine, the nervous system is considered to be either slow to recover or completely irreparable, and those who have nerve damage often find themselves with mobility difficulties or even paralysis. A damaged nerve loses the ability to transfer signals for feeling and movement through the nervous system, and when damaged it cannot be repaired.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers at Tel Aviv University, including members of the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, and their research has resulted in the invention of a method for repairing damaged peripheral nerves. Although this is a fairly new development which will require a great deal of further testing, the successes of this innovative new method have proven to be promising so far.

A biodegradable implant and a unique new Guiding Regeneration Gel (GRG) are the products of the project, and when combined they increase nerve healing and growth, meaning that the functionality of a damaged nerve can be restored. Dr. Shimon Rochkind from the university's Faculty of Medicine has said that using the therapy for clinical use could only be a few years away as tests of the implant and GRG have already been carried out in animal models.

The study has managed to find a way to bridge the gap between two damaged nerve endings. First, the biodegradable tube is used to reconnect the two severed ends of the damaged nerve, and then the GRG that lines the inside of the tube stimulates the growth of nerve fibres. This eventually encourages the nerve endings to reconnect, and according to the study this can even help in cases of massive nerve damage.

The findings of this study by Tel Aviv University have been gaining international recognition in recent weeks, and this high level of interest could soon lead to a great deal more research and investment into the development of a biodegradable implant and GRG which could be available across the globe. With such wide interest, those who have found themselves using walk in showers because of mobility difficulties could soon find that they can regain some of their former mobility for the first time in history.

 

Image Credit: Dreaming in the deep south (flickr.com)