UH Biomedical Engineer Pursues Nerve Regeneration
A biomedical engineer from the University of Houston will use a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to determine how best to spur nerve regeneration in the nervous system.
The nervous system functions as the body’s electrical system, a collection of specialized cells that transmit signals between different parts of the body. But injuries and certain degenerative diseases – including Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis – can interrupt that communication, posing a challenge for scientists seeking ways to return the body’s nervous system to healthy function.
Mohammad Reza Abidian, associate professor of biomedical engineering, said surgical repairs can sometimes bridge small gaps between damaged nerves – typically gaps of less than one centimeter – but that isn’t an option for more severely damaged nerves. Instead, scientists are seeking to spur nerve regeneration in ways that can mend the breech.