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 Spun-sugar fibers spawn sweet technique for nerve repair

This story is from the category The Brain
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Date posted: 26/02/2009

Researchers at Purdue have developed a technique using sugar filaments spun like cotton candy and coated with a polymer to create a scaffold of tiny synthetic tubes that might serve as conduits to regenerate nerves severed in accidents or damaged by disease.

The sugar filaments are coated with a corn-based degradable polymer, and then the sugar is dissolved in water, leaving behind bundles of hollow polymer tubes that mimic those found in nerves, said Riyi Shi, an associate professor in Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Basic Medical Sciences.

The scaffold could be used to promote nerve regeneration by acting as a bridge placed between the ends of severed nerves, said biomedical engineering doctoral student Jianming Li, who is a member of Shi's research team that developed the technique.

The researchers are initially concentrating on the peripheral nerves found in the limbs and throughout the body because nerve regeneration is more complex in the spinal cord. About 800,000 peripheral nerve injuries are reported annually in the United States, with about 50,000 requiring surgery.

See the full Story via external site: www.physorg.com



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