Toyobo Co., a maker of synthetic fibres headquartered in Osaka, Japan, has developed resorbable conduits that can help regenerate damaged nerves. The short sections of tubing are made from bioresorbable materials, such as polyglycolic acid, and use NMP Collagen PS, developed by Nippon Meat Packers Inc., to promote tissue growth. Compared with existing procedures for treating damaged nerves, use of the conduit significantly reduces stress on the patient’s body.
Inserting the conduit at the nerve gap can be done quickly, notes a press release on the company website, unlike the physically-taxing surgeries that are currently used to perform nerve autografts and sutures.
Following its insertion between the severed portions of the damaged nerve, the conduit promotes nerve elongation along the tube’s lumen from the central to the peripheral side. The collagen fosters regrowth of the damaged nerve. The scaffold-like conduit is resorbed into the body after approximately three months.
Clinical trails demonstrate an 84.2% efficacy rate, according to the company. Test results also suggest that it is effective in treating damaged nerves that exceed 20 mm. The company applied to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in February 2012 to manufacture and market its new device. Approval is expected by spring 2013.