This research project involves the developement and application of cellular prostheses as an alternative method of repair of the injuried peripheral nervous system. Cellular prostheses, designed as nerve chambers filled with Schawnn cells, cellular elements that promote nerve regeneration, will be used to repair long resections of peripheral nerves, for which nerve graft repair implies secondary problems and simple tubulization is inefficient. The objectives of the project pursue to characterize the behavior of Schawnn cells in cultures and to improve their yield, to evaluate the effects of cellular prosstheses for repairing resected nerves, comparing them with the effects of autologous grafts, to evaluate the introduction of Schawnn cells in chambers by addition to extracellular matrices, to study the effects of preservation by freezing of the trnsplanted cells, and to compare the effectiveness of cultures and cellular prostheses from postnatal and adult, heterologous and autologous donors. For in vivo studies, by means of a battery of neurophysiological tests, we will determine the degree and rate of regeneration through prostheses and of target organs reinnervation after resection of the mouse sciatic nerve. At the end of the study, by means of histological methods, we will quantify axonal regeneration through prostheses and grafts and the degree of target tissue reinnervation, and evaluate the response of the transplanted Schawnn cells. In summary, a detailed functional and morphological study of nerve regeneration across cellular prostheses will be made, in order to prove in an experimental model that they may become an effective reparative method, alternative to the sutured grafts classically employed in surgical repair of the nervous system.
|Effective start/end date||1/03/97 → 1/03/00|
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