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Thread: Scientists' success leads way to nerve regeneration

  1. #1

    Scientists' success leads way to nerve regeneration

    Yet another way of fixing the rat, but they do say that they will be looking at larger animal models in the future and possible clinical trials in humans in 2 years.

    Scientists' success leads way to nerve regeneration

    Nicky Phillips

    August 1, 2011

    Breakthrough ... scientists are hopeful their research can help patients with spinal cord damage.

    SYDNEY scientists have succeeded in regenerating the severed nerves of rats using a specially designed bioadhesive.
    The gel, made from pigs' bladder cells interlaced with molecules found in the regenerated limbs of Mexican walking fish, could become a breakthrough method for repairing damaged nerves and spinal cord injuries in humans.
    A biomedical engineer and the lead inventor of the bioadhesive, Helder Marcal, said there was currently no way to regenerate injured nerves.

    ''You can stitch a nerve together but that would not give you recovery or regeneration and most of the time a patient will lose the capacity to move that limb,'' Dr Helder, from the recently launched Australian Centre for Nanomedicine at the University of NSW, said.
    As part of the study, the researchers applied the laser-activated bioadhesive to the severed sciatic nerve of adult rats.
    After a week, new cells began to grow and bridge the gap between the two nerves, and by six weeks the nerve had fully repaired and the rodents regained partial function of their limbs, he said.
    The bioadhesive gel works by mimicking the biological regeneration process used by Mexican walking fish, which are able to regenerate entire organs and limbs.
    When the team studied the regenerated limbs of the fish they found molecules, known as neurotrophic factors, that induce stem cell growth, Dr Helder said.
    These molecules provide the right environment for regeneration, and are the key ingredient in the gel, Dr Helder said. He presented his research at the 2011 International Nanomedicine Conference in Coogee last month.
    While scientists around the world have been able to inject stem cells into patients with spinal cord injuries, the nerves had not regenerated.
    ''What we've done is provide the micro-environmental factors which optimise cell growth and tissue regeneration,'' he said.
    The bioadhesive would replace the need for sutures and reduce risk of wound infections.
    The team have begun trials on large animals and hope to begin human trials in two years.

    Read more:
    "Wheelie Wanna Walk!"

  2. #2
    Wow, this is a strange one.

    I'll believe it when they do commence actual human trials. It's amazing how many treatments have worked on experimental animals and yet very little has been tried on humans.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lurch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    nq australia
    I only skimmed over this one but yes I would like a pigs bladder ( large ) as I am currently making do with a hamster's.

  4. #4
    this has the same issues as many other "nerve regeneration" news articles... it's taking results from peripheral nerve studies and extrapolating to the CNS, when many, many studies have already shown the two systems have little in common when it comes to regeneration.

  5. #5
    yea, i dont get how so many things have worked on rats and yet we still have no cure. could the rat nerve regeneration just be better than humans? or is it supossed to be the same?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Murrieta, Ca.
    Quote Originally Posted by Barrington314mx View Post
    yea, i dont get how so many things have worked on rats and yet we still have no cure. could the rat nerve regeneration just be better than humans? or is it supossed to be the same?
    Good Question, I think the reasons are that not enough successful animal (rat) studies have made it through the translational research stage and onto human clinical trials. Some of the ones that did make it into Human clinical trials ran out of funding and they were never completed. The studies that have taken place in humans outside of US Clinical trials like Dr. Carlos Lima's treatment in Portugal have not had the success they had hoped for for one reason or another.

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