Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Engineer develops detergent to promote peripheral nerve healing

11.06.2008
100 patients treated successfully in first year of use

A detergent solution developed at The University of Texas at Austin that treats donor nerve grafts to circumvent an immune rejection response has been used to create acellular nerve grafts now used successfully in hospitals around the country. Research also shows early promise of the detergent solution having possible applications in spinal cord repair.

The solution – combined with an enzyme treatment conceived at the University of Florida in Gainesville – is licensed by AxoGen, an Alachua, Florida-based company, and is used to create an acellular nerve graft from human cadaver tissue, called AVANCE Nerve Graft. Nationwide, nearly 100 patients suffering nerve injuries have received AVANCE grafts, all involving peripheral nerves which transmit sensory information between the brain and muscles.

Christine Schmidt, a biomedical engineering professor, developed the detergent solution in her lab with Terry Hudson and Curt Deister, chemical engineering graduate students at the time, who are now with Genentech in California and with AxoGen, respectively.

“Surgeons are reporting some early successes,” she says.

These grafts are being used to treat people with traumatic injuries potentially resulting from lacerations, gunshots and everyday accidents, but it also has been used to treat cavernous nerves after the removal of the prostate. The AVANCE product has treated wounded soldiers and can treat the nerves in hands, arms, legs and the face.

Traditional treatment of these types of nerve trauma required harvesting an intact nerve from the patient’s body and transplanting it to repair the damaged area. However, that requires two surgeries, is more costly and leads to loss of nerve function and possible infection at the donor nerve site, Schmidt says.

Synthetic, tubular grafts are another surgery repair option. However, Schmidt says they are limited to repairing very small injuries. She adds AVANCE nerve grafts are able to bridge long nerve gaps, provide a three-dimensional pathway supporting nerve regeneration and are easily bendable because they are human nerve harvested from tissue donors, making it easier for surgeons to handle.

“This method has broader applicability,” Schmidt says. “Formerly a patient’s only option was to use their own nerve or the completely synthetic grafts.”

By using the detergent solution, the donor nerve is stripped of the cellular lipid components, which causes the immune rejection response when implanted. Schmidt’s laboratory spent four years developing the solution to be strong enough to remove rejection-inducing factors, but mild enough to preserve the delicate physical architecture of the nerve essential for regeneration. The resulting tolerated transplanted nerve provides a type of scaffolding that serves as a bridge between the two ends of the severed nerve to promote regrowth. And because the immunogenic lipid components have been extracted, patients don’t require immunosuppressant drugs.

AxoGen learned about the detergent processing work in Schmidt’s lab, licensed it and combined it with the University of Florida enzyme treatment that removes other regrowth inhibiting factors, creating the AVANCE product.

“So they’ve taken something from our lab that works really well and made it work even better,” Schmidt says.

Schmidt now is conducting spinal-cord lab testing in animals using detergent-treated peripheral nerve grafts. She is working with post-doctoral fellow Zin Khaing, a central nervous system expert.

AxoGen’s AVANCE Nerve Graft was first used on a patient in July 2007, when a 38-year-old man underwent surgery to repair a facial nerve at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. In a recent case, it was used to repair several damaged nerves in three fingers of a Dallas resident at University Hospital – Zale Lipshy.

For photos of Schmidt, go to: http://www.engr.utexas.edu/news/action_shots/pages/schmidt_07.cfm

For information on AxoGen, visit: www.axogeninc.com.

For more information, contact: Daniel J. Vargas, Cockrell School of Engineering, 512-471-7541, Daniel.vargas2@engr.utexas.edu; Christine Schmidt, Cockrell School of Engineering, 512-471-1690, Schmidt@che.utexas.edu; Anna Tietz, AxoGen, 386-462-6844, atietz@axogeninc.com

About UT's Cockrell School of Engineering:
The University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering ranks among the top six public engineering schools in the United States. With the nation's fourth highest number of faculty elected members of the National Academy of Engineering, the School's more than 7,000 students gain exposure to the nation's finest engineering practitioners. Appropriately, the School's logo, an embellished checkmark used by the first UT engineering dean to denote high quality student work, is the nation's oldest quality symbol.

Christine Schmidt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utexas.edu
http://www.engr.utexas.edu

Further reports about: AVANCE AxoGen Cockrell Engineering detergent donor peripheral

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another
27.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

nachricht New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>