nerveA group of researchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU) have reportedly developed a biodegradable implant that when used in combination with a new Guiding Regeneration Gel (GRG) increases nerve growth and healing, restoring function and reversing paralysis.

The method encompasses two severed ends of a damaged nerve, which are reconnected by implanting a soft, biodegradable tube, bridging the gap to allow the nerve ends to connect, researchers explain. The gel that lines the inside of the tube is designed to nurture nerve fibers’ growth, encouraging the nerve to reconnect the severed ends through the tube, even in cases with massive nerve damage, according to Shimon Rochkind, MD, PhD, TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.

The gel features three main components that include anti-oxidants, synthetic laminin peptides, and hyaluronic acid. Researchers say the components allow the nerve to heal in the way a fetus does in the womb.

Researchers add that the implant has already been tested in animal models and the gel itself can be used as a stand-alone product, functioning as an aid to cell therapy. Rochkind notes that GRG can be used not only to preserve cells, but also to support their survival while being used for therapy and transplantation. It may also have implications in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Rochkind adds.

Source: American Friends of Tel Aviv University