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Abstract

Volume 22, Issue 4 (July 2020) 22, 335–341; 10.4103/aja.aja_95_19

Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound for regenerating peripheral nerves: potential for penile nerve

Dong-Yi Peng1,2, Amanda B Reed-Maldonado1, Gui-Ting Lin1, Shu-Jie Xia3, Tom F Lue1

1 Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
2 Department of Urology, The Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410013, China
3 Department of Urology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

Correspondence: Dr. TF Lue (tom.lue@ucsf.edu)

Date of Submission 22-Mar-2019 Date of Acceptance 11-Jul-2019 Date of Web Publication 13-Sep-2019

Abstract

Peripheral nerve damage, such as that found after surgery or trauma, is a substantial clinical challenge. Much research continues in attempts to improve outcomes after peripheral nerve damage and to promote nerve repair after injury. In recent years, low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) has been studied as a potential method of stimulating peripheral nerve regeneration. In this review, the physiology of peripheral nerve regeneration is reviewed, and the experiments employing LIPUS to improve peripheral nerve regeneration are discussed. Application of LIPUS following nerve surgery may promote nerve regeneration and improve functional outcomes through a variety of proposed mechanisms. These include an increase of neurotrophic factors, Schwann cell (SC) activation, cellular signaling activations, and induction of mitosis. We searched PubMed for articles related to these topics in both in vitro and in vivo animal research models. We found numerous studies, suggesting that LIPUS following nerve surgery promotes nerve regeneration and improves functional outcomes. Based on these findings, LIPUS could be a novel and valuable treatment for nerve injury-induced erectile dysfunction.

Keywords: activation; cellular signaling; low-intensity pulsed ultrasound; neurotrophic factors; peripheral nerve regeneration; Schwann cells

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