Spinal cord fusion with PEG-GNRs (TexasPEG): Neurophysiological recovery in 24 hours in rats

Surg Neurol Int. 2016 Sep 13;7(Suppl 24):S632-6. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.190475. eCollection 2016.


Background: The GEMINI spinal cord fusion protocol has been developed to achieve a successful cephalosomatic anastomosis. Here, for the first time, we report the effects of locally applied water-soluble, conductive PEG(polyethylene glycol)ylated graphene nanoribbons (PEG-GNRs) on neurophysiologic conduction after sharp cervical cord transection in rats. PEG-GNRs were produced by the polymerization of ethylene oxide from anion-edged graphene nanoribbons. These combine the fusogenic potential of PEG with the electrical conducting properties of the graphene nanoribbons.

Methods: Laminectomy and transection of cervical spinal cord (C5) was performed on Female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. After applying PEG-GNR on the severed part, electrophysiological recovery of the reconstructed cervical spinal cord was confirmed by somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) at 24 h after surgery.

Results: While no SSEPs were detected in the control group, PEG-GNR treated group showed fast recovery of SSEPs at 24 h after the surgery.

Conclusion: In this preliminary dataset, for the first time, we report the effect of a novel form of PEG with the goal of rapid reconstruction of a sharply severed spinal cord.

Keywords: Cephalosomatic anastomosis; GEMINI; electrophysiology; graphene nanoribbons; spinal cord fusion.