nerve-repair lab

Nerve-Repair Lab

Director: Kacey Marra, PhD

Research Description

  • Clinical Significance: There is a need for an off-the-shelf nerve guide to repair large peripheral nerve gaps, and restore distal muscle function, with over 200,000 patients per year requiring surgical intervention.
  • Innovation: Dr. Marra and her amazing team developed a nerve guide composed of biodegradable, FDA-approved polymers, and bioactive factors that will stimulate axon growth. Our novel approach permits a slow, controlled delivery of relevant factors or cells that will guide axons to bridge a large nerve gap. Dr. Marra has patented this technology, and licensed the IP to her start-up company, Nerve Repair Technologies.
  • Translation: Our pre-clinical research focuses on sciatic nerve median nerve as well as the recently established facial nerve defect.  We are currently pursuing approval form the FDA for the first-in-human clinical trial with the nerve guide.
  • Emerging Research: Our lab has been examining different therapies to mitigate skeletal muscle atrophy after denervation. We have studied stem cells, decellularized extracellular matrixes, nanofat, exercise and e-stimulation in preclinical rodent studies. We will identify the most promising therapies and move towards clinical translation.