The research group is headed by Prof. Shimon Rochkind (MD, PhD), a specialist in neurosurgery and microsurgery, and the Director of the Division of Peripheral Nerve Reconstruction, at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and directed by Dr. Almog (PhD), a specialist in physiology, and the Scientific Project Manager of the Division of Peripheral Nerve Reconstruction, at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.
The research center for nerve reconstruction (RCNR) consists of clinicians, scientist, elctrophysiologists, engineers, biochemists and veterinarians, who are proficient in all complex techniques needed to pursue advanced and novel research.
Currently, the research group is involved in projects targeting improvement in nerve reconstruction and rehabilitation from several aspects, aiming at the creation of innovative treatments to both peripheral nerve (PN) and spinal cord (SC) injuries.
The research group is a part of several international consortiums looking into various aspects of PN and SC regeneration. Scientific collaborations include leading clinical and research centers from Israel, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Great Brittan and Italy as well as industrial companies from Israel, Germany and Portugal. In addition, we work with the Israel Defense Force (IDF)
RCNR major projects
Creation of artificial nerve for nerve reconstruction using the innovative Guiding Regenerative Gel (GRG) to improve and accelerate regeneration of peripheral nerve injury (PNI) with massive defect.
The GRG is a special milieu that was developed in collaboration with Prof. Zvi Nevo from Tel-Aviv University, Israel. The unique composition of GRG has recently been shown to be as efficient as autologous nerve graft, promoting axonal growth and sprouting without dependence on the addition of any external growth factors. In a short-term in vivo study it was shown that GRG loaded into a conduit promoted axonal sprouting of nerve cells and enabled the regeneration of a 15mm long nerve gap in rats, which is not possible when bridging with an empty conduit (regeneration of up to 7mm). Therefore, the GRG allows a simpler procedure with less side effects, since its implantation does not involve other nerve origin, sensation loss or cosmetic defect as the "gold standard" treatment, therefore, GRG can provide a promising simple of the shelf solution for clinical use for complete PNI.
Promotion of axonal sprouting of nerve cells following complete spinal cord injury using an innovative hydrogel.
This unique hydrogel, based on the GRG, is intended to solubilize to instantly formed scar following spinal cord injury and to prevent its further formation in addition to promoting axonal sprouting and survival.
Biohybrid Templates for Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
An European Community FP7 project. This multi-central study consists of a consortium of 10 bodies – hospitals, university laboratories and industry – from 6 countries, aiming at developing an innovative biohybrid nerve device for the regenerative treatment of traumatic injuries of PN.
Usage of laser phototherapy to enhance PN rehabilitation and related muscles preservation
Laser phototherapy was found to be safe, noninvasive, low cost and easy to implement, leading to a significantly improved recovery of motor function in a shorter period of time.