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Methods For Peripheral Nerve Repair Essay

1044 words - 5 pages

Peripheral nerve injuries often result in grim consequences for afflicted individuals including the loss of touch perception, continuous pain, impaired motor functions, and the loss of responsiveness in entire limb. Peripheral nerve injury occurs when a nerve is compressed, crushed or severed and the communication between the peripheral and central nervous system is ruptured and lost (NEURAL TISSUE ENGINEERING: Strategies for Repair and Regeneration). Current methods for peripheral nerve repair consists of surgically reconnecting the distal and proximal nerve ends, a highly favorable procedure for small nerves; however, large nerves gaps of 10 mm and greater are subjected to specifically sensory auto grafts. This method for large nerve injuries rarely results in near complete or complete recovery of function—impairing the quality of life for the individual. In addition, sensory autografts are faced with dreaded issues that consist of a shortage of donor nerves and the mismatch of donor nerve sizes (Peripheral nerve regeneration: An opinion on channels, scaffolds and anisotropy). Although a definitive engineered alternative to sensory autografts has yet to be successfully established, researchers have focused their efforts on one particular strategy for peripheral nerve repair and regeneration, decellularized nerve grafts. Serving as a nerve guidance channel it enables the synchronized lengthening of the proximal nerve stump and axonal growth into an engineered scaffold (A Novel Internal Fixator Device for Peripheral Nerve Regeneration). As a result, this provides an opportunity to examine the mechanical influences of peripheral nerve regeneration and to further evaluate the effectives of decellularized nerve grafts as a method in repairing large nerve gaps.
Studies of peripheral nerves regeneration use anatomical and histological measures to determine the rate of success. Histology staining techniques allow for the identification of different cellular components of interest. The subject of interest, myelin, allows for faster communication throughout the body. Peripheral nerves are complex structures that consist of the following main components: neuron axons, myelin sheathes generated by support cells known as Schwann cells that aid in neuronal activity, and an extracellular matrix (NEURAL TISSUE ENGINEERING: Strategies for Repair and Regeneration). Though decellularized nerve grafts may proof to increase nerve regeneration, to assess nerve repair one must examine the quality of myelination after the repair is completed. Current nerve staining methods are poor and do not produce adequate histological image results that truly differentiates myelin from other cellular components. Therefore, to produce the clearest and most time efficient staining method to label myelin, frozen sections containing samples of rodent nerve tissue will be and subjected to modified Toluidine Blue and Luxol Fast Blue combination staining methods. The expected results...

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