A microsurgical device for precise cutting and manipulation of damaged axons to reconstitute nerve function.
Injury to the nervous system can often results in the loss of sensory and motor functions. One approach for restoring axon function and neural circuitry consists of the physical rejoining of the severed axons. A critical step of axon repair requires the removal of the injured ends from axons and rejoining of healthy axon segments, but the absence of surgical tools capable of manipulating structures at the subcellular level is still greatly lacking. Currently, nerve repair surgery is commonly performed using a scalpel and forceps, and these tools often leave axons crushed and distorted. This invention overcomes a major obstacle in axon repair surgery by delivering precise incisions to injured axons.
This novel invention provides the following advantages:
This technology is a Micro Electromechanical System-based microsurgery device. It is made up of a nanoknife held by a micromanipulator and an overhead microscope is used for visual monitoring during surgery. This tool allows for 50 to 100 μm-long incisions of injured axons for axon grafting and repair without causing damage to the adjacent segments. The nanoknife was highly effective in generating clean cuts in both myelinated and unmyelinated axons, in vitro and in vivo, leading to axon repair and function.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||7,895,885||03/01/2011||2003-013|