Electrically Mediated Trauma Repair
Final rept. 22 Aug 94-21 Aug 98
PURDUE RESEARCH FOUNDATION LAFAYETTE IN
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As an external application to injured or developing systems, steady voltage gradients can alter the dynamics of such processes in a predictable and polarized way. We have exploited this in ways designed to enhance the regeneration of nervous tissue with small current regulated implantable devices. We have facilitated regeneration of nerve fibers within the lesioned adult mammalian spinal cord following acute application of DC fields. Further tests proved that a recovery of function in a normally permanent sensorimotor defects secondary to severance of the relevant intramedullary spinal cord tracts could be induced. This research employed the cutaneus trunci muscle reflex CTM of the adult guinea pig where functioning of skin musculature is dependent on long afferent projections within the ventrolateral spinal cord. Evaluation of skin movement and electrophysiological evaluation of the reflex proved that up to 25 of electrically treated animals recovered reflex functioning while 100 of the sham treated population remained permanently impaired. Further development of devices designed to affect both ascending and sescending nerve fiber projections have been tested to be effective in restoring variable levels of functional recovery in clinical cases of naturally produced, and neurologically complete paraplegia in canines. We believe this technique provides a relatively simple medical intervention to recover lost functions following severe traumatic CNS injury.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research