Reconstructive microsurgery research with Karim Sarhane 2022? Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, conducted a study to develop a drug delivery system using a very small material, nanofiber hydrogel composite, which can hold nanoparticles containing IGF-1 and be delivered near the injured nerve to help it heal. Dr. Kara Segna, MD, received one of three Best of Meeting Abstract Awards from the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA Pain Medicine) for the project. She will present the abstract “IGF-1 Nanoparticles Improve Functional Outcomes After Peripheral Nerve Injury” on Saturday, April 2, at 1:45 pm during the 47th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting being held March 31-April 2, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. Coauthors include Drs. Sami Tuffaha, Thomas Harris, Chenhu Qui, Karim Sarhane, Ahmet Hoke, Hai-Quan Mao.
Dr. Sarhane is published in top-ranked bioengineering, neuroscience, and surgery journals. He holds a patent for a novel Nanofiber Nerve Wrap that he developed with his colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology and the Johns Hopkins Department of Neuroscience (US Patent # 10500305, December 2019). He is the recipient of many research grants and research awards, including the Best Basic Science Paper at the Johns Hopkins Residents Research Symposium, the Basic Science Research Grant Prize from the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand, the Research Pilot Grant Prize from the Plastic Surgery Foundation, and a Scholarship Award from the American College of Surgeons. He has authored to date 46 peer-reviewed articles, 11 book chapters, 45 peer-reviewed abstracts, and has 28 national presentations. He is an elected member of the Plastic Surgery Research Council, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, the American Society for Reconstructive Transplantation, and the American Society for Peripheral Nerves.
The neurotrophic effects of IGF-1 have been found to be dose-dependent and independent of cell-cycle stage (Sumantran and Feldman, 1993; Tuffaha et al., 2016b). Specific trophic benefits to neurons include the promotion of neurite outgrowth, prevention of neuronal apoptosis, and the promotion of growth cone motility. As the proximal end of an injured nerve begins to recover, regenerating axons are guided to reinnervate their distal targets by numerous chemotrophic factors, resulting in the formation of a growth cone. IGF-1 plays a key role in the motility of the growth cone by inducing reorganization of actin and activation of focal adhesion molecules via the PI3K/Akt pathway (Tuffaha et al., 2016b). IGF-1 further augments growth cone motility via downregulation of c-myc, a cell proliferation transcription factor indicative of neuronal differentiation, and upregulation of growth cone-associated protein 43 (GAP-43), a vital component of neurite formation.
Recovery by sustained IGF-1 delivery (Karim Sarhane research) : To realize the therapeutic potential of IGF-1 treatment for PNIs, we designed, optimized, and characterized a novel local delivery system for small proteins using a new FNP-based encapsulation method that offers favorable encapsulation efficiency with retained bioactivity and a sustained release profile for over 3 weeks. The IGF-1 NPs demonstrated favorable in vivo release kinetics with high local loading levels of IGF-1 within target muscle and nerve tissue.
Peripheral nerve injuries (PNIs) affect approximately 67 800 people annually in the United States alone (Wujek and Lasek, 1983; Noble et al., 1998; Taylor et al., 2008). Despite optimal management, many patients experience lasting motor and sensory deficits, the majority of whom are unable to return to work within 1 year of the injury (Wujek and Lasek, 1983). The lack of clinically available therapeutic options to enhance nerve regeneration and functional recovery remains a major challenge.
Research efforts to improve PNI outcomes have primarily focused on isolated processes, including the acceleration of intrinsic axonal outgrowth and maintenance of the distal regenerative environment. In order to maximize functional recovery, a multifaceted therapeutic approach that both limits the damaging effects of denervation atrophy on muscle and SCs and accelerates axonal regeneration is needed. A number of promising potential therapies have been under investigation for PNI. Many such experimental therapies are growth factors including glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (Fex Svenningsen and Kanje, 1996; Lee et al., 2007; Gordon, 2009). Tacrolimus (FK506), delivered either systemically or locally, has also shown promise in a number of studies (Konofaos and Terzis, 2013; Davis et al., 2019; Tajdaran et al., 2019).