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Sugar Fibers Used for Nerve Repair (Image 2)

Synthetic tubes may help to regenerate nerves severed in accidents or damaged by disease

Researchers at Purdue University developed a technique using sugar filaments spun like cotton candy and coated with a polymer to create a scaffold of tiny synthetic tubes that might serve as conduits for regenerating nerves severed in accidents or damaged by disease.

These images, taken with fluorescent-dyed samples, show nerve-insulating cells called Schwann cells (on left) growing on a tubule, and a combination of Schwann cells and neurons aligned lengthwise along the tubes (on right). This alignment is critical for the fast growth of nerves.

To learn more about this research, see the Purdue University news story Spun-sugar fibers spawn sweet technique for nerve repair. (Date of Image: 2009) [See related image Here.]

Credit: Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Basic Medical Sciences; Center for Paralysis Research, Purdue University

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