Tel-Aviv University, Israel
The present technology offers opportunities for the development of a novel biocompatible gel for recovery of peripheral nerve with massive loss defect. The Guided Regenerative Gel (GRG) composition was invented by a team of Israeli researchers, including Dr Shimon Rochkind, Director of the Division of Peripheral Nerve Reconstruction from the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Prof Zvi Nevo from the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine at the Tel Aviv University. The proposed technology is a biocompatible and biodegradable gel enhancing axonal growth and nerve regeneration. It is composed of a complex of substances comprising transparent, highly viscous gel that is almost impermeable to liquids and gasses, flexible, elastic, malleable and adaptable to various shapes and formats. The gel resembles the extracellular matrix (ECM) and was found to support three dimensional growth and differentiation of various cell types including embryonic and adult stem cells in culture, neuronal precursor cells and neuronal accompanying cells. Pre-clinical proof of concept in peripheral nerve damage rat model, conducted under supervision by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, showed that the gel enhanced nerve regeneration when placed in nerve conduits enabling massive nerve loss recovery previously unbridgeable. Potential applications of this technology are: Tissue reconstruction and cell therapy; Regeneration of massive regional losses in tissues and organs; Nerve healing, wound healing, preservation of human and animal tissues. The GRG technology is a promising platform for stem cells therapy, spinal cord injury, stroke and Parkinson's disease.