Friday, March 20, 2015

Repairing Damaged Nerves via 3D Printing

In cases with traumatic injuries casualties are susceptible to damaged nerves. What that means is that the 3 types of nerves you have in you body, the autonomic, the motor , and the sensory nerves are unable to function as they were created. Damage to the nerves causes dysfunctions such as unable to control muscles and even losing sensation in the body part rendering you unable to feel pain in that area.

There are currently methods of repairing nerve endings which require suturing the nerve endings in surgery but results prove to be rather inefficient in producing desirable results for not only the patients but the doctors as well. What’s needed is a way to repair the nerves to restore function as close to the way the patient was prior to the injury. This is where the 3D printers come in.

Using their Nerve Guidance Conduit(NGC) on mouses, the Scientists at the University of Sheffield have successfully restored nerve function on a mouse. The scientists utilized a form of 3D printing called Computer Aided Design(CAD) in order to create unique nerves personalized to the patient being treated.The benefits of 3D printing are quite obvious, the modern technology permits clinicians to print exact models that encourages the self-repairing of nerves over time. Their experiments with the mouse concluded with the repair of a 3mm injury gab over the course of 21 days. All that is left is to conduct trials on a larger scale to see if the NGC works. This brings great potential in restoring nerve function to patients who no longer have them at the moment.

Learn more about nerve damage here: 

Click on the link below to read more on NGCs:

Written by: Josh Estores

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