Injectable microtissue preserves muscle function in rats with severed sciatic nerves

The researchers engineered the first injectable microscopic tissue containing motor and sensory neurons enclosed in a protective tissue, called a tissue engineered neuromuscular interface (TE-NMI). According to researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine, TE-NMI neurons provide a source of axons to muscles in mice that have suffered nerve injuries, and “babyshit” the muscles to prevent degeneration and loss of function. while the damaged nerve grows again. University of Pennsylvania. their conclusions. were published in bioactive ingredients,

TE-NMIs consist of nerve cells enclosed in a protective hydrogel, and the entire microenvironment is injected in close proximity to the muscle. This “ship in a bottle” method protects neurons and increases the likelihood that a greater number of axons will attach to muscles and maintain regenerative pathways.

The researchers severed the sciatic nerve in mice, and injected them with TE-NMI or microscopic tissue without any neurons. In the group that received TE-NMI, the researchers were able to electrically stimulate the nerve stump that had been “babysated” by the TE-NMI and record the muscle’s response for up to five months after the tissue was implanted. No muscle response was found in the control group.

“There are hundreds of thousands of patients who undergo surgery to repair nerve injuries each year, and even if a surgeon performs a correct procedure, they can rapidly grow axons by more than about an inch per month. cannot regenerate. For nerve injuries in the upper arm or upper leg, regeneration can take years; however, the muscles and the pathway leading to the muscles are irreparable after six to 12 months without connections to the axon. will worsen, resulting in permanent loss of motor and sensory function,” said senior author D. Casey Cullen, PhD, an associate professor at Neurosurgery. “By increasing the time window for patient axons to reconnect to muscle, this research has the potential to improve the extent of recovery without causing further damage to patients.”

For example, patients who suffer an injury to the brachial plexus – a nerve root resection where nerves are pulled away from the spinal cord – can regain function of the elbow, but possibly the function of their hand. Won’t get it again. In these cases, a neurosurgeon usually splints a healthy nerve near the hand, and re-routes it to stimulate the muscles of the hand to restore partial function when the nerve re-grow. The researchers suggest that TE-NMIs will potentially work more intensively without damaging a patient’s healthy nerve.

“Working closely with physicians at Penn’s Nerve Center, we identified a potential surgical paradigm that would be most helpful to them and their patients,” said first author Justin Burrell, PhD, in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Institute for Translational Medicine. Postdoctoral Research Fellow said. Medicine and Therapeutics. “What’s more, as we continue to test and confirm our findings, we will continue our partnership with the Nerve Center to ensure that our research is providing them with the technology they need to provide the best possible care for patients.” necessary to provide.”

This study was primarily supported by the US Department of Defense (W81XWH-16-1-0796, W81XWH-19-1-0867), the National Institutes of Health (R44-NS108869, TL1-TR001880) and the Department of Veterans Affairs. (I01-BX003748).

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Material provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Note: Content can be edited for style and length.

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