Navigation Links
Neurotransmitters in biopolymers stimulate nerve regeneration
Date:12/11/2007

Research reported December 11 in the journal Advanced Materials describes a potentially promising strategy for encouraging the regeneration of damaged central nervous system cells known as neurons.

The technique would use a biodegradable polymer containing a chemical group that mimics the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to spur the growth of neurites, which are projections that form the connections among neurons and between neurons and other cells. The biomimetic polymers would then guide the growth of the regenerating nerve.

There is currently no treatment for recovering human nerve function after injury to the brain or spinal cord because central nervous system neurons have a very limited capability of self-repair and regeneration.

Regeneration in the central nervous system requires neural activity, not just neuronal growth factors alone, so we thought a neurotransmitter might send the necessary signals, said Yadong Wang, assistant professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, and principal investigator of the study. The research was supported by Georgia Tech, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).

Chemical neurotransmitters relay, amplify and modulate signals between a neuron and another cell. This new study shows that integrating neurotransmitters into biodegradable polymers results in a biomaterial that successfully promotes neurite growth, which is necessary for victims of central nervous system injury, stroke or certain neurodegenerative diseases to recover sensory, motor, cognitive or autonomic functions.

Wang and graduate student Christiane Gumera developed novel biodegradable polymers with a flexible backbone that allowed neurotransmitters to be easily added as a side chain. In its current form, the polymer would be implanted via surgery to repair damaged central nerves.

One of our ultimate goals is to create a conduit for nerve regeneration that guides the neurons to regenerate, but gradually degrades as the neurons regenerate so that it wont constrict the nerves permanently, explained Wang.

For the experiments, the researchers tested polymers with different concentrations of the acetylcholine-mimicking groups. Acetylcholine was chosen because it is known to induce neurite outgrowth and promote the formation and strengthening of synapses, or connections between neurons. They isolated ganglia nervous tissue samples, placed them on the polymers and observed new neurites extend from the ganglia.

Since these neuron extensions must traverse a growth inhibiting material in the body, Wang and Gumera tested the ability of the biomaterial to enhance the extension of sprouted neurites. More specifically, they assessed whether the ganglia sprouted at least 20 neurites and then measured neurite length and neurite length distribution with an inverted phase contrast microscope.

We found that adding 70 percent acetylcholine to the polymer induced regenerative responses similar to laminin, a benchmark material for nerve culture, said Wang. Seventy percent acetylcholine also led to a neurite growth rate of up to 0.7 millimeters per day, or approximately half the thickness of a compact disc.

Laminin is a natural protein present in the nervous tissues, but it dissolves in water, making it difficult to incorporate into a conduit that needs to support nerves for months. A synthetic polymer with acetylcholine functional groups, on the other hand, can be designed to be insoluble in water, according to Wang.

Since functional restoration after nerve injury requires synapse formation, the researchers also searched for the presence of synaptic vesicle proteins on the newly formed neurites. With fluorescence imaging, they found that neurons cultured on these acetylcholine polymers expressed an established neuronal marker called synaptophysin.

To provide insights to new approaches in functional nerve regeneration, the researchers are currently investigating the mechanisms by which the neurons interact with these polymers. Since neurons that remain intact after severe injury have only a limited capacity to penetrate the scar tissue, these new findings in nerve regeneration could help compensate for the lost connections.

This polymer and approach arent limited to nerve regeneration though, they can probably be used for other neurodegenerative disorders as well, added Wang.


'/>"/>

Contact: Abby Vogel
avogel@gatech.edu
404-385-3364
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News  
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Consumer Reports Analysis: Drugs for Nerve Pain, Fibromyalgia Effective, But Not Always Best
2. Cell-surface sugar defects may trigger nerve damage in multiple sclerosis patients
3. Antibody Helps Repair MS Nerve Damage
4. Jefferson oncologists show focused radiation is effective as surgery against nerve tumor
5. Nerve Disorganization May Spur Form of Dyslexia
6. Bone marrow cell transplants help nerve regeneration
7. Stem cells in adult testes provide alternative to embryonic stem cells for organ regeneration
8. Ellex Announces New Retina Regeneration Therapy to be Presented at the AAO
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Neurotransmitters in biopolymers stimulate nerve regeneration
(Date:4/28/2017)... San Diego, Ca (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... the property management industry in the coastal communities. After Tina Howe joined the team, ... healthy and happy employees, honest services at affordable rates, and giving back to the ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Researchers ... study of ActiGraph’s CentrePoint Data Hub in a sample of participants ... clinical-grade wearable activity and sleep monitoring solutions for the global scientific community. The ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced ... Foundation implement a Microsoft Dynamics GP solution that integrates to their PointClickCare EHR ... specializes in long-term care, Brooke Grove now has the capability to achieve its ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... NuevaCare, a leading home care agency ... Burlingame, and Palo Alto, is proud to announce information upgrades to its blog in ... read organized content on topics such as home care (generally) as well as senior ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... Semrock’s highly popular SearchLight Spectra Viewer ... resource for fluorescence microscopists and optical system designers, enabling The Right Solution, Right ... the globe, SearchLight has become a tremendously popular tool for the fluorescence imaging ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 The Mobile X-Ray product ... a healthy CAGR during the forecast period Mobile ... the global digital mobile X-Ray devices market, which is estimated ... 2017, expanding at a CAGR of 7% over the forecast ... opportunity of more than US$ 100 Mn in 2017 over ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... DALLAS , April 19, 2017  Vanderbilt University ... first patients in Nashville , Tennesse ... Lower Esophageal Sphincter Stimulation for GERD (LESS GERD) trial. ... to provide long-term reflux control by restoring normal function ... nearly 65 million people in the United ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... 19, 2017  New research provides evidence that an old ... to a study released today that will be presented at ... in Boston , April 22 to 28, ... of Parkinson,s disease, the oral drug levodopa has long been ... But as the disease progresses, the effects of the medication ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: