HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Polymers promote nerve regeneration

AMES, Iowa Using microscale channels cut in an ultrathin biodegradable polymer, a researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory is working to regrow nerve cells. The technique, which may one day allow the paralyzed to walk and the blind to see, has been proven to work for peripheral nerve regeneration in laboratory rats.

Nerve cells are unlike most other biological tissue. When a nerve is severed, the part of the neuron "downstream" of the injury typically dies off. And neurons in the human body can be several feet long. Grafting, which works well for other tissue such as skin, isn't the best option because of loss of nerve function where the donor tissue is removed and the difficulty in getting the nerve cells to line up and reconnect.

"Nerve cells aren't able to easily bridge gaps of more than one centimeter," says Surya Mallapragada, an Ames Laboratory associate in Materials Chemistry and a chemical engineering professor at Iowa State University. "Peripheral nervous system (PNS) axons the part of the nerve cell which carries the impulses normally have a connective tissue sheath of myelin guide their growth, and without that guidance, they aren't able grow productively."

Since the nervous system carries electrical impulses, it helps to think of nerve cells in terms of electrical wiring. Bundles of nerves are like an electrical cable with multiple wires. When a nerve "cable" is cut and cells die, it would be as though the copper wire downstream of the damage disappeared, leaving only the empty plastic insulation tubes. In order for new copper wiring to push out across the gap and fill in the empty insulation tubes, you'd need a way to guide the wires into the empty insulation. And that's where Mallapragada's research comes in.

By working on a cellular scale, she has developed a way to help guide neurons so they grow in the right direction. Starting with biodegradable polymer films only a few hundred microns thick (
'"/>

Contact: Surya Mallapragada
suryakm@iastate.edu
515-294-7407
DOE/Ames Laboratory
12-Feb-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Reversible Process For Forming Supramolecular Polymers Could Be The Basis Of Fibers, Molecular Transport Mechanisms
2. Model Polymers Reveal New Clues to Protein Folding
3. Dr. Brenda Milner promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada
4. Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide promotes algal growth
5. Symbiotic fungi promote invasion into diverse plant communities (Rudgers et al.)
6. Symbiotic fungi promote invasion into diverse plant communities (Rudgers et al.)
7. Estrogen promotes gender differences in brains response to stress
8. Cell death promotes learning growth
9. Grant promotes marine ornamental fish aquaculture
10. Study suggests ovarian cancer cells can alter surroundings to promote chemotherapy resistance
11. Body hormone ghrelin, a food intake and weight gain influence, is found to promote sleep

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/20/2016)... 20, 2016 A market that just keeps ... from the explosion in genomics knowledge. Learn all about ... A range of dynamic trends are pushing market growth ... medicine - pharmacogenomics - pathogen evolution - next generation ... - greater understanding of the role of genetic material ...
(Date:1/18/2016)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Jan. 18, 2016 ... storage security software that simplifies the use and ... a technology and go-to-market partnership with American Cyber.  ... "American Cyber brings extensive experience leading transformational C4ISR ... missions implementing and integrating the latest proven technology ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... , January 13, 2016 ... the addition of the  "India Biometrics ... & Forecast (2015-2020)"  report to ... ) has announced the addition of ... Market - Estimation & Forecast (2015-2020)" ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... N.J. , Feb. 4, 2016  CytoSorbents ... immunotherapy leader commercializing its flagship CytoSorb® blood filter ... surgery patients around the world, announced that CEO ... present at the Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive ... update on the company.  Conference ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTRV ), a ... targeted antiviral therapies, announced today that it will present ... held February 8-9, 2016, at the Waldorf Astoria New ... Healthcare Conference, taking place in New York ... Sapirstein , Chief Executive Officer of ContraVir, will provide ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... leading supplier of Semantic Graph Database technology has been recognized As “ Best ... by Corporate America Magazine. , “At Corporate America, it’s our priority to showcase ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 2016   ViaCyte, Inc ., a leading, ... stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy for the treatment ... announced that ViaCyte and Janssen Biotech, Inc., one ... Johnson, have agreed to consolidate the assets of ... provides ViaCyte with an exclusive license to all ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: