Company Develops a New Approach to Nerve Repair

Mar 12, 2007

A new company, Neurotex Ltd, has been established to develop novel silk-based materials that have the potential to provide a new generation of nerve repair materials and treatments.

Neurotex Ltd is a joint venture company, bringing together the expertise of Professor John Priestley, Head of Neuroscience at Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, and the unique silk-based materials technology developed by Dr David Knight, and Dr Nick Skaer of Oxford Biomaterials Ltd. Dr Richard Skipper has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the new company.

Neurotex Ltd is developing a range of patented devices for the repair of damaged nerves using a modified wild silk developed by Oxford Biomaterials, called Spidrex®.

Spidrex has biological and mechanical properties that make it a highly attractive candidate for nerve repair devices. Initial studies have shown Spidrex to be highly supportive of directed nerve growth with low immunotoxicity. Professor John Priestley, Scientific Founder of Neurotex expects that the research will lead to treatment for peripheral nerve injury, and may eventually lead to treatments for repairing damaged spinal cords – however, he cautions that spinal cord damage is far more complex and a much longer term goal.

Professor John Prestley, Scientific Founder of Neurotex said; “For us it’s an ambitious but realistic goal to repair the peripheral nervous system. If you damage a peripheral nerve, so long as it has a support to follow, the nerve should regrow and hopefully the nerve injury will repair itself. If you damage the spinal cord, however, there are lots of things that will try and prevent the regrowth taking place, such as natural inhibitory components. To repair a damaged spinal cord, we will need different types of tubes and will have to combine other approaches such as stem cells, growth factors or other additives. So it’s a much longer term goal, but the rewards are potentially much greater.” The Kinetique Biomedical Seed Fund has invested £250,000 to develop devices for use in peripheral nerve injury repair.

Source: Queen Mary, University of London

Explore further: Beware of claims about cosmetic stem cells procedures, review says

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists find gene vital to nerve cell development

Jun 09, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- The body’s ability to perform simple tasks like flex muscles or feel heat, cold and pain depends, in large part, on myelin, an insulating layer of fats and proteins that speeds the ...

Researchers probe nervous system repair

Mar 30, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- In humans, regeneration of the peripheral nervous system after injury remains a hit-or-miss affair, while brain and spinal cord damage usually results in lifelong disabilities.

Fluorescent peptides help nerves glow in surgery

Feb 06, 2011

Accidental damage to thin or buried nerves during surgery can have severe consequences, from chronic pain to permanent paralysis. Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine may have found a remedy: ...

Recommended for you

Diet affects men's and women's gut microbes differently

16 hours ago

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published ...

Researchers explore what happens when heart cells fail

18 hours ago

Through a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Naomi Chesler will embark upon a new collaborative research project to better understand ...

User comments : 0