Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine and Northwestern University have discovered a biodegradable medicine that is implantable and has the potential to improve the damaged nerve. The biodegradable wireless device has the ability to speed nerve revival.
The scientists and the engineer from neurosurgeon from Washington University demonstrated that a device emitting continuous nerve impulses of electricity to the peripheral nerves in rats after they underwent a surgery for repair. The pulses increase the rate of growth of the nerves in their legs, which further helps the rats gain back the muscle strength faster. Furthermore, the wireless device is of dime size and has a thickness of a paper sheet. The device usually takes two week for the natural absorption into the body parts.
An article detailing the work was published in the journal Nature Medicine on Oct 8, 2018.
Researchers analyze Procedure to enhance Recovery of Damaged Nerve
The wireless device is not ready to be used by human patients. But, it may have promising future for the treatment of the repair of nerve injuries in patients. It has been a standard practice to provide electrical stimulation during the surgery so that the patient can heal faster. But, until now no such inventions are made by the doctors to promise complete recovery after the surgery process.
Dr. Wilson “Zack” Ray, an associate professor of neurosurgery from Washington University stated that the electrical stimulation helps in enhancing the nerve, after the surgery is done. Moreover, the researchers find that the longer electrical stimulation process will further helps in healing the damaged nerve. They are now looking out for exact time duration for the further treatment to maximize recovery of the damaged nerve.
Researchers and his colleagues in their study could control the number of days the device remain operational, before the materials degrade inside the body. New discovery has suggested that it can provide electrical pulse for a week before it degrades. This ability to degrade inside the body eliminates the need for another surgery to remove the device and hence is likely to bolster treatment outcome. The researchers evaluated that the device has wide scope, not only for peripheral nerve but also as a temporary pacemaker.