Maida A. Parkins1, Rupeng Li2, Hani S. Matloub1, Ji-Geng Yan1, James S. Hyde2, Christopher P. Pawela1,2
1Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA; 2Biophysics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA
The purpose of this study was to create a model for peripheral nerve injury and repair. This was done in a rat model using BOLD fMRI to track cortical recovery of the repaired nerve. The median nerve repair data show an increase in activation in the primary sensory forepaw region after just two weeks. This increase in activation is expected to continue in time as healing of the repaired nerve progresses. This model is exciting because it can be used as a vehicle for evaluating different interventions that could improve nerve healing, like application of growth factors or mechanical stress.