A technique for direct chronic infusion of compounds onto peripheral axons has been investigated in the rat sciatic nerve. A 2 cm segment of the femoral artery was removed and one end inserted into the endoneurial space of the contralateral peroneal nerve fascicle of the same animal. The other end of the artery was connected to a catheter system to allow infusion into the endoneurium, thus bypassing the barrier that the perineurium presents to hydrophilic compounds. The patency of this arterial access system was evaluated by the ability of 20 microliters of 2% lidocaine to inhibit the toe-spreading reflex. The results of the study were that the infusion system remained operational for 3-7 days after transplantation. There were histologic changes in the nerve but there were no functional deficits due to the surgery. Although a long-term endoneurial infusion was not achieved, the limited access time to the axons might be long enough for applications such as the delivery of nerve growth factors to injured nerve.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989T598300006
View details for PubMedID 2709882