1. Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University
2. Department of Research and Development Center, FEAGLE Corporation, Yangsan, South Korea.
3. Department of Oral Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan, South Korea
* These authors contributed equally on this study.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of non-thermal plasma (NTP) on the healing process of peripheral nerve crush injuries, which can occur during dental implant procedures. For this, a rat model of sciatic nerve crush injury (SNCI) was adopted. The rats were divided into three groups: non-nerve damage (non-ND), nerve damage (ND), and ND+NTP group. To evaluate the sciatic nerve (SN) function, the static sciatic index was calculated, and the muscle and SN tissues were subjected to a histologic analysis. The results showed that NTP effectively accelerated the healing process of SNCI in rats. In contrast to the ND group, which showed approximately 60% recovery in the SN function, the NTP-treated rats showed complete recovery. Histologically, the NTP treatments not only accelerated the muscle healing, but also reduced the edema-like phenotype of the damaged SN tissues. In the ND group, the SN tissues had an accumulation of CD68-positive macrophages, partially destroyed axonal fibers and myelinated Schwann cells. Conversely, in the ND+NTP group, the macrophage accumulation was reduced and an overall regeneration of the damaged axon fibers and the myelin sheath was accomplished. The results of this study indicate that NTP can be used for healing of injured peripheral nerves.
Keywords: Non-thermal plasma (NTP), Sciatic Nerve Crush Injury (SNCI), Skeletal Muscle Healing, Macrophage, Myelin Sheath, Neuronal Axon