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An In Vitro Model for Cranial Nerve Injury and Rehabilitation

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What are the highlights that attendees should take away from your presentation?

There are a lot of unique opportunities in otolaryngology to deliver therapeutics locally and reduce the systemic side effects associated with oral or intravenous medications. We need more ways to screen and identify potentially therapeutic agents. Furthermore we need ways to deliver medications in a more targeted fashion and for longer periods of time.

What is the central question that your study and/or presentation tries to answer?

Can a cell culture model of neuropraxia injury using RSC96 spontaneously immortalized cells be developed and used to screen for potential therapeutic agents?

If applicable, what are the key findings from your study?

We have developed a Schwann cell model of neuropraxia or “stretch” injury that can evaluate whether therapeutic agents improve cell viability after injury with peroxide. Furthermore, we describe one method of incorporating promising therapeutic agents into a biocompatible polymer to prolong their release and further target their delivery.

How do these findings and/or conclusions potentially impact clinical practice?

Expanding our offerings of topical therapeutics and prolonging their drug-release profile has wide-reaching effects, as we have already seen with steroid-eluting implants in the sinuses. We are working to develop ways to deliver medications to the inner ear via transtympanic injection that release medication for extended periods and improve our offerings to patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss and cisplatin-induced ototoxicity. We are also identifying and tailoring the release profile of promising agents that can be deployed locally during surgery to promote recovery of function for commonly stretched cranial nerves, such as the facial and recurrent laryngeal.

What else would you like attendees to know about your presentation?

Schwann cells are not a perfect model of neuropraxia but are a reproducible high-throughput screening tool for potential therapeutic agents that may promote Schwann cell health and encourage remyelination before proceeding into further trials.

What are 3-5 questions you would ask attendees about the topic of your presentation to spark an engaging conversation?

What conditions would you most like to see our offering of topical therapeutic agents expand?

Are there any medications that would benefit from prolonged local delivery rather than systemic administration?

How long do you typically tell patients to expect weakness of a cranial nerve that was observed to be intact during surgery when this is encountered postoperatively? 

Dr. Kita is employed by UCLA and has received two grants (1K08DC019957-01 and the American Neurotology Research Grant Award).

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