OBJECTIVE: Our goal is to develop a novel method to repair damaged axons. This method relies on acutely restoring axonal continuity rather than the traditional approach of promoting axonal regeneration.
METHODS: Micro- and nanoechnological methods, in combination with focal application of electrical fields, are applied to individual and groups of axons both in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: Application of these techniques has permitted micromanipulation of axons at the cellular level and fusion of axonal membranes.
CONCLUSION: Although a great deal more work is necessary, our findings suggest that it may one day be possible to repair acutely disrupted axons by splicing their membranes back together.