Regeneration in the nervous system
Conduits for peripheral nerve regeneration
Unlike the central nervous system, damaged peripheral nerves have the potential for regeneration. However, the regenerative process is very slow and often the nerve axons do not find their target tissue. Nerve conduits are designed to improve the regeneration process.
Each year, between 100,000 and 400,000 people worldwide undergo neurosurgical procedures to treat damage to peripheral nerves. And presumably a far higher number of patients receive no treatment at all. Simple hollow fibers have already been approved as nerve conduits and are being used with moderate success.
We are working on significantly improving these conduits with the aim of boosting the regeneration of peripheral nerves. The goal is to restore motor and sensory functions and to prevent errant nerve growth and the formation of painful neuromas.
siRNA (small interfering ribonucleic acid) is a class of small nucleic acid molecules that can inhibit the synthesis of selected proteins. As many molecular regulation mechanisms in cells have now been identified, it is possible to identify proteins that can be deactivated in order to improve regeneration. They work in situations where biological factors, such as proteases, inflammation mediators and other cell components, inhibit the process of regeneration.
This process, which does not involve genetic engineering, makes it possible to enhance implants (biofunctionalization), develop and characterize treatments and explain the process of cellular regulation mechanisms. The NMI now has a number of processes at its disposal.