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Dopamine used to prompt nerve tissue to regrow

Removing even one group caused a complete loss of the biological activity. They also determined that dopamine was more effective at differentiating nerve cells than the two most popular materials for culturing nerves -- polylysine and laminin. This ability means that the material with dopamine may have a better chance to successfully repair damaged nerves.

The success of dopamine has encouraged the team to set its sights on other neurotransmitters.

"Dopamine was a good starting point, but we are looking into other neurotransmitters as well," Wang said.

The team's next step is to verify findings that the material stimulates the reformation of synapses in addition to regrowth.

"A successful nerve regeneration will require the nerve to synapse with the target organ," Wang said. "Since we've written this paper, we've also been able to get the nerves to form extensive synapses, which is a step in the right direction."
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Source:Georgia Institute of Technology


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