Latest news from the group

New compound accelerates nerve regeneration

Added 3 July, 2023

Research led by UCL, in partnership with the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB) and AstraZeneca, has identified a new compound that can stimulate nerve regeneration after injury. The study identified a chemical compound that activates the PI3K signalling pathway, accelerating the natural regeneration that can occur in peripheral nerves after damage.

UCL Press Release

New book! Peripheral Nerve Tissue Engineering and Regeneration

Added 20 November, 2022

The complete first edition of this living reference work is now available online and in print, providing a comprehensive overview of key concepts and technologies for current and future nerve repair. Individual chapters are available to download and include topics such as the history of nerve repair, the nerve repair environment, models and evaluation, biomaterials, therapeutic options and clinical aspects.

EngNT demonstrates equivalent performance to autograft in preclinical nerve repair

Added 15 September, 2021

Important new study provides compelling preclinical evidence to support the effectiveness of Engineered Neural Tissue (EngNT) as a replacement for the nerve autograft. Functional regeneration assessed through histological and electrophysiological outcome measures demonstrated equivalent performance. Furthermore, the living replacement nerve tissue was implanted within a collagen membrane wrap, providing an artificial tissue with similar mechanical and handling properties to natural nerve.

This study will help underpin progression of the technology through the required manufacture and regulatory steps to testing in human patients. Translation of EngNT to clinical application is being undertaken with our UCL spinout company Glialign Ltd.

New paper characterising human nerve degeneration

Added 21 April, 2020

This study reveals new information about the cellular and molecular features of human nerves following injury. Published in Acta Neuropathologica Communications (Open Access), this collaborative work analysed nerve tissue from patients undergoing repair surgery. Since the patients had surgery at various different times after the original injury, it was possible to build up an understanding of how nerve tissues change over days, months and years following damage.

Using immunohistochemistry and Real-Time quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR), the expression of SOX10, c-Jun, p75NTR and EGR2 was assessed in denervated samples and compared to healthy nerve. The patterns of changes seen in the human samples were similar to those reported previously in rodent models, with Schwann cells adopting a repair phenotype in acutely injured nerves, which then fades during chronic denervation. Understanding the timing of these changes in human nerve tissue following injury should help to inform the development of better therapeutic interventions.

More information about the study is provided in this UCL News Item and the paper can be accessed via this link. The project involved Matthew Wilcox, Simao Laranjeira, Tuula Eriksson, Kristjan Jessen, Rhona Mirsky, Tom Quick and James Phillips and was a multidisciplinary collaboration within the UCL Centre for Nerve Engineering.

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