Microtubes for Research

Fri Oct 7 15:13:13 EST 1994

Microtubes may be available for neuroscience research.
We are currently able to make these microscopic tubes
in lengths from 0.5-4.0 cm, and internal diameters from
2-100 microns. Possible materials include polymers, metals
& ceramics i.e. a wide spectrum of materials. The most 
useful materials for neuroscience research may be polymers
which are bio-compatible and transmit oxygen. It may also
be possible to use polymers which dissolve over time within
a biological system (similar to the dissolving sutures which
are used in medicine).

This raises an interesting research question. Could these
microtubes be used for repair of damaged nerve tissue?
A tube would have the advantage of channeling nerve
growth in a particular direction, so that two ends of a
severed nerve may be linked together.

Research in Britain has shown that neural tissue will 
grow along micro-grooves which have been machined onto
the surface of silicon wafers. So the use of microtubes
for neural reconstruction seems at least plausible.

Does anyone know if this idea has been tried? We may be
able to produce a small quantity of specimens for research
purposes, if the idea has merit. 

Please note that this is not a commercial advertisement.
The organization involved is a government laboratory. And
I must concede that my manager is skeptical about the
"commercial benefits" from this application. However, I am
willing to invest some effort in a co-operative research
arrangement, if the idea has merit.

Please respond to the e-mail address below.

Pete Pollock PhD.                pollockp at lablink.ple.af.mil
Air Force Phillips Laboratory

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list