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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Mar 2023 - 17 Mar 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Neuropathic Pain

2023 Aug

Bioact Mater



Exosomes-loaded electroconductive nerve dressing for nerve regeneration and pain relief against diabetic peripheral nerve injury.


Yang Q, Su S, Liu S, Yang S, Xu J, Zhong Y, Yang Y, Tian L, Tan Z, Wang J, Yu Z, Shi Z, Liang F


Over the years, electroconductive hydrogels (ECHs) have been extensively applied for stimulating nerve regeneration and restoring locomotor function after peripheral nerve injury (PNI) with diabetes, given their favorable mechanical and electrical properties identical to endogenous nerve tissue. Nevertheless, PNI causes the loss of locomotor function and inflammatory pain, especially in diabetic patients. It has been established that bone marrow stem cells-derived exosomes (BMSCs-Exos) have analgesic, anti-inflammatory and tissue regeneration properties. Herein, we designed an ECH loaded with BMSCs-Exos (ECH-Exos) electroconductive nerve dressing to treat diabetic PNI to achieve functional recovery and pain relief. Given its potent adhesive and self-healing properties, this laminar dressing is convenient for the treatment of damaged nerve fibers by automatically wrapping around them to form a size-matched tube-like structure, avoiding the cumbersome implantation process. Our in vitro studies showed that ECH-Exos could facilitate the attachment and migration of Schwann cells. Meanwhile, Exos in this system could modulate M2 macrophage polarization via the NF-κB pathway, thereby attenuating inflammatory pain in diabetic PNI. Additionally, ECH-Exos enhanced myelinated axonal regeneration via the MEK/ERK pathway in vitro and in vivo, consequently ameliorating muscle denervation atrophy and further promoting functional restoration. Our findings suggest that the ECH-Exos system has huge prospects for nerve regeneration, functional restoration and pain relief in patients with diabetic PNI.