Plastic surgery research by Karim Sarhane right now? 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. Karim Sarhane is an MD MSc graduate from the American University of Beirut. Following graduation, he completed a 1-year internship in the Department of Surgery at AUB. He then joined the Reconstructive Transplantation Program of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins University for a 2-year research fellowship. He then completed a residency in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toledo (2021). In July 2021, he started his plastic surgery training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery (2021).
The hydrogels were soaked in IGF-1 solutions, with concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 1 mg/ml. The duration of soaking time and biomaterials used for fabrication differed between studies, thereby complicating further direct comparisons beyond individual consideration. Regardless of concentration of IGF-1 soaking solution, duration of soaking time, or hydrogel composition, the fundamental property in predicting utility for nerve regeneration is the sustained concentration of released IGF-1 that is reaching the site of PNI. Unfortunately, only two of the studies included in Table 6 quantified IGF-1 release in vivo using either fluid sampling with ELISA or radiolabeled IGF-1 (Yuan et al., 2000; Kikkawa et al., 2014). Using ELISA, one study reported significantly greater in vivo IGF-1 concentration, peaking at 1.25 µg/mL at Post-operative Day 1 (POD 1) and returning to the physiologic levels of the control group by POD 7 (Kikkawa et al., 2014). Using radiolabeling, the other in vivo quantification study reported a biphasic IGF-1 release profile with an initial burst of approximately 80% of the starting concentration of IGF-1 at 1 h followed by sustained release of the remaining 15% ± 2.9% over the subsequent 48-h period (Yuan et al., 2000). Conversely, a different study reported failure of IGF-1 to prevent motoneuron death, a finding which was noted to be contrary to previous results and required additional investigation. This study described the use of a soaked gel foam plug but did not specify the IGF-1 release profile of this material (Bayrak et al., 2017). As such, further analysis and testing is needed to determine the optimal fabrication parameters, loading strategy, and concentration of released IGF-1 required for successful local delivery via hydrogel.
Effects with sustained IGF-1 delivery (Karim Sarhane research) : Under optimized conditions, uniform PEG-b-PCL NPs were generated with an encapsulation efficiency of 88.4%, loading level of 14.2%, and a near-zero-order release of bioactive IGF-1 for more than 20 days in vitro. The effects of locally delivered IGF-1 NPs on denervated muscle and SCs were assessed in a rat median nerve transection-without- repair model. The effects of IGF-1 NPs on axonal regeneration, muscle atrophy, reinnervation, and recovery of motor function were assessed in a model in which chronic denervation is induced prior to nerve repair. IGF-1 NP treatment resulted in significantly greater recovery of forepaw grip strength, decreased denervation-induced muscle atrophy, decreased SC senescence, and improved neuromuscular reinnervation.
Following surgical repair, axons often must regenerate over long distances at a relatively slow rate of 1–3 mm/day to reach and reinnervate distal motor endplates. Throughout this process, denervated muscle undergoes irreversible loss of myofibrils and loss of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), thereby resulting in progressive and permanent muscle atrophy. It is well known that the degree of muscle atrophy increases with the duration of denervation (Ishii et al., 1994). Chronically denervated SCs within the distal nerve are also subject to time-dependent senescence. Following injury, proliferating SCs initially maintain the basal lamina tubes through which regenerating axons travel. SCs also secrete numerous neurotrophic factors that stimulate and guide axonal regeneration. However, as time elapses without axonal interaction, SCs gradually lose the capacity to perform these important functions, and the distal regenerative pathway becomes inhospitable to recovering axons (Ishii et al., 1993; Glazner and Ishii, 1995; Grinsell and Keating, 2014).
We comprehensively reviewed the literature for original studies examining the efficacy of IGF-1 in treating PNI. We queried the PubMed and Embase databases for terms including “Insulin-Like Growth Factor I,” “IGF1,” “IGF-1,” “somatomedin C,” “PNIs,” “peripheral nerves,” “nerve injury,” “nerve damage,” “nerve trauma,” “nerve crush,” “nerve regeneration,” and “nerve repair.” Following title review, our search yielded 218 results. Inclusion criteria included original basic science studies utilizing IGF-1 as a means of addressing PNI. Following abstract review, 56 studies were sorted by study type and mechanism of delivery into the following categories: (1) in vitro, (2) in vivo endogenous upregulation of IGF-1, or (3) in vivo delivery of exogenous IGF-1. Studies included in the in vivo exogenous IGF-1 group were further sub-stratified into systemic or local delivery, and the local IGF-1 delivery methods were further sub-divided into free IGF-1 injection, hydrogel, or mini-pump studies. Following categorization by mechanism of IGF-1 delivery, the optimal dosage range for each group was calculated by converting all reported IGF-1 dosages to nM for ease of comparison using the standard molecular weight of IGF-1 of 7649 Daltons. After standardization of dosages to nM, the IGF-1 concentration reported as optimal from each study was used to calculate the overall mean, median, and range of optimal IGF-1 dosage for each group.