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Cristiana Rodrigues Carvalho
Postdoctoral Fellows
Ciência ID: 

Master's Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Research Area: 

Peripheral Nerve Regeneration


As peripheral nerves own the capacity of self-regeneration after traumatic injury, tissue engineering offers new medical therapies to regenerate diseased or damaged tissues and aims to create three-dimensional scaffolds to accommodate cells and guide their growth both in vitro and in vivo. A nerve guidance conduit (also referred to as an artificial nerve conduit or artificial nerve graft, as opposed to an autograft) is an artificial means of guiding axonal regrowth to facilitating nerve regeneration and is one of several clinical treatments for nerve injuries.

We will be focusing on developing innovative biohybrid nerve graft devices for peripheral nerve regeneration. Scaling-up from simple tubular nerve guides to an innovative biohybrid artificial nerve for clinical application should address issues like optimisation of properties of the scaffold and its microsurgical manipulation. An ideal biohybrid artificial nerve will shield the regenerating nerve against the environment and support generation of a permissive environment by providing a directing 3D structure and via defined delivery of neurotrophic factors and presence of regeneration promoting cells, and in the ultimate case, it should degrade with ongoing regeneration processes. Nevertheless, the problem of inaccurate target reinnervation, within the boundaries of the nerve projection territory will persist. A multidisciplinary approach combining regeneration-promoting guides, with an aligned porous matrix containing factors for selective axonal guidance seems a promising strategy to improve the outcome of nerve injuries.

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