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.
Departments of Ophthalmology and Physiology, Neuroscience Program and Bioengineering Program, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California (Chang) (Sretevan)
Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, University of Washington, and Puget Sound Veterans Administration Health Care Center, Seattle, Washington (Kliot)
Reprint requests: Michel Kliot, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Puget Sound VA Health Care Center, 1660 S. Columbian Way, Seattle, WA 98108. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received, January 2, 2008.
Accepted, August 8, 2008.