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Neurology

Plastic Tubing Aids Nerve Regrowth

17 years, 1 month ago

2175  0
Posted on Oct 11, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Scientists from the University of Toronto have managed to restore a certain degree of hind-limb function in paralysed rats by using a polymer tube to encourage nerve regrowth. Dr Molly Shoicet and her colleagues inserted a polymer tube filled with hormones known to encourage the regrowth of nerves into the gap between the severed ends of the spinal columns of rats.

Scientists from the University of Toronto have managed to restore a certain degree of hind-limb function in paralysed rats by using a polymer tube to encourage nerve regrowth. Dr Molly Shoicet and her colleagues inserted a polymer tube filled with hormones known to encourage the regrowth of nerves into the gap between the severed ends of the spinal columns of rats. Many of the rats, who had previously dragged their hind-limbs on the floor, regained a certain degree of function in their limbs. Further investigations revealed that the nerve cells inside the plastic tubes had begun to develop new axons with an average length of more than 12-millimeters. Although the researchers acknowledge that they are "definitely not there yet", they are hopeful that the 'scaffolding' provided by the plastic tubing could be useful in the treatment of human spinal cord injuries.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 29th August 2001

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