Unraveling the Mechanisms of Neuroma Prevention with the Use of Acellularized Nerve Allografts

2017 Pilot Project Read More


Principal Investigator: Valeria Cavalli (WashU Dept. of Neuroscience)
Collaborator: Amy Moore (formerly WashU Surgery)


Damage to a peripheral nerve encountered following amputation or trauma often results in the formation of neuroma, which is a bundle of nerve and scar tissue that can cause debilitating pain. Strategies are needed to prevent and/or treat this pain-inducing state. This proposal is based on our preliminary studies showing that neuroma can be treated with a surgical intervention that involves excision of the neuroma and attaching an acellular nerve allograft (ANA) cap. This procedure allows axons to grow into the ANA, but not exit the long graft as the support for regeneration is diminished. We hypothesize that this surgical intervention allows neurons to turn off their growth program, which is essential to prevent chronic pain states. We will elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of using ANAs in neuroma prevention. This research will support the clinical implementation of using ANAs in neuroma treatment.


 Updated April 2021


Pilot project teams include Hope Center faculty members and others. For more about Hope Center faculty on this team, click below.

Valeria Cavalli