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Drug Delivery for Peripheral Nerve Regeneration

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Technical Report,01 Sep 2013,31 Aug 2015

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University of Utah Salt Lake City

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Nerve injury can occur due to penetrating wounds, compression, traumatic stretch, and cold exposure. Despite prompt repair, outcomes are dismal. In this work, a polylactic-co-glycolic acidPLGA nerve conduit with associated biodegradable drug reservoir is designed, fabricated, tested. Devices loaded with nerve growth factor NGF are evaluated for sustained drug release and axon growth enhancement in dorsal root ganglion DRG cells with the released drug. In the first year of this 18 month project we have completed device fabrication of the nerve guide conduit and drug delivery reservoir. We were able to release NGF at a concentration that enhancing DRG nerve growth in vitro. We next compared functional recovery between an autograft, PLGA nerve conduit, and PLGA nerve conduit that releases NGF in a rat sciatic nerve gap model. The animals that had the nerve gap repaired with an autograft had less muscle atrophy and greater neuromuscular junction connectivity compared with animals that received either the conduit alone or the conduit that released NGF. There were no functional differences between the two PLGA conduit groups.

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