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Enhancing Peripheral Nerve Regeneration with a Novel Drug-Delivering Nerve Conduit

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2014,29 Sep 2015

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University of Utah Salt Lake City United States

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This project is directed at improving the rate of nerve regeneration, through the development and testing of a novel nerve conduit. This project explores the potential of combing a nerve conduit that will act as an axon guide for the regenerating nerve and a drug delivery device to deliver nerve growth factor NGF and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor GDNF for at least 30 days to improve rate of nerve regeneration. We have successfully manufactured a dual chamber device, as well as further validated a diffusion model that can be used to design the nerve conduit a priori. That is by knowing what concentration of growth factor we want to deliver and for what duration we can then determine the approximate reservoir volume, diffusion hole, and growth factor concentration that need to be established to meet these design criterion. We have further determined the concentration of NGF and GDNF that need to be delivered simultaneously to result in optimal nerve growth. Finally, we have acquired a breeding pair of mice that express GFP in their peripheral nerves, begun expanding the colony, and have confirmed that the progeny express GFP in their peripheral nerves. Over the next year we will further characterize the release kinetics and bioactivity of NGF and GDNF released from the device and evaluate the in vivo efficacy of our novel nerve conduit.


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