Microhook nerve tape: A nerve repair coaptation aid

Period of Performance: 04/01/2017 - 09/30/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Axion Biosystems, LLC
Atlanta, GA 30309
Principal Investigator


? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This proposed project will develop and validate a microhook-based nerve tape device for quick and effective repair of nerve injuries. The microhook wrap consists of an array of microscale hooks, distributed across a fine, flexible meshwork and embedded in a biocompatible backing material. This nerve tape will be used during nerve repair surgeries in place of microsutures to wrap around and bind the coapted ends of a severed nerve. The short microhooks penetrate only into the outer, connective tissue layers of the nerve, forming an effective mechanical connection akin to VelcroTM brand products. This mechanical connection distributes tension evenly across the wrap and can be applied quickly, and reproducibly, without the need for a surgical microscope or extensive microsurgical training. Versus the current clinical standard microsuture repair, microhook nerve tape has the potential to reduce overall surgical costs and enhance recovery after nerve injuries. Phase I will optimize the design of microhook nerve tape and validate its safety and efficacy. Specifically, Aim 1 will test various configurations of microhooks, backing materials, and closure methods. Aim 2 will use biomechanical testing on human cadaver nerves and rabbit implantation models to validate the ability of the nerve wrap to engage epineurial tissue without chronic inflammation or negative effect on regeneration axons. Phase II will include extensive animal and clinical testing of functional outcome measures, establishment of manufacturing processes, and ultimately 510k approval and licensing/distribution agreements. The final product will be an FDA-approved microhook nerve tape material that can be stored on the shelf for use during nerve repair procedures. Once packaged as a commercial medical device, microhook wrap will reduce healthcare costs while improving patient access and quality of recovery.