Peripheral nerve injuries can range from loss of sensation of the skin, to a total loss of sensation and motor control of an entire limb. Our research aims to improve clinical diagnostics and monitoring of these injuries, as it can often be hard to pinpoint the severity and precise anatomical localization of the nerve injury. Monitoring of regenerating nerves is hard, and if reinnervation is not taking place the end-organ muscle is lost to atrophy.
We hope to resolve these issues by applying advanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques directed at the diffusion characteristics of the nerves. These techniques can provide information about the tissue architecture and will be used to detect, and follow, nerve regeneration to better inform the surgeons about the need of surgical intervention. The same technique will be used in a preclinical setting to non-invasively study the effects of novel treatment regimes for these injuries.