07.11.2020 change 07.11.2020

Silesian scientists patent anti-wear coating to help cut nerves

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Scientists from the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice and the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences have patented anti-wear coating to cover surgical knives used to cut peripheral nerves.

This is the team's next step in the modernization of peripheral nerve surgery tools, where the quality of the incision and subsequent anastomosis determines the patient's future condition and avoids difficult-to-control neuropathic pains.


For precise nerve cutting, the inventors created an original cutting tool: a disc covered with a multi-ion and multi-layer anti-wear TiNx:Ag coating.

Co-author Professor Wiesław Marcol from the Chair and Department of Physiology of the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice said: “There was no perfect tool until now. All methods, ways and tools for cutting peripheral nerves were failing. The nerve is a tissue with a specific structure: it consists of a huge number of small nerve fibres, and when cut under the influence of applied force, it bends because the blades are too blunt to penetrate the nerve structure smoothly and efficiently, without crushing it by pressing it against the substrate or the cutting tool.”

He added: “As a result, the surface of the cut is uneven, and the surgeon's goal is to perfectly connect the two ends of the cut nerve, microfibre to microfibre, because this translates into later regeneration of the nerve and whether all the patient's functions can be restored, e.g. functions of the hand, in which the nerve was left damaged in an accident.”

The quality of the nerve cut is also important during amputations. In the case of an unevenly clipped nerve, there is a higher probability of neuroma of pathologically growing microfibres, which causes severe pain in the stump and makes it difficult or even impossible to wear a prosthesis.

The innovative method of obtaining the coating makes it possible to obtain a bioactive coating on the tool blade. It can be used in the surgery of soft tissues, in particular peripheral nerves.

The co-authors of the patented solution also include: head of the Chair and Department of Physiology of the Medical University of Silesia, Professor Joanna Lewin-Kowalik, Dr. Jan Miodoński, and Dr. Bogusław Rajchel from the Henryk Niewodniczański Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Previously, the team developed a peripheral nerve implant based on chitosan extracted from insect shells - the only implant in Europe filled with endoneurium. (PAP)

Author: Anna Gumułka

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