BACKGROUND: Given the movement of molecules within tissue that occurs naturally by endogenous electric fields, we examined the possibility of using a low-voltage DC field to move charged substances in rodent peripheral nerve in vitro. NEW METHOD: Labeled sugar- and protein-based markers were applied to a rodent peroneal nerve and then a 5-10 V/cm field was used to move the molecules within the extra- and intraneural compartments. Physiological and anatomical nerve properties were also assessed using the same stimulation in vivo. RESULTS: We demonstrate in vitro that charged and labeled compounds are capable of moving in a DC field along a nerve, and that the same field applied in vivo changes the excitability of the nerve, but without damage. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that low-voltage electrophoresis could be used to move charged molecules, perhaps therapeutically, safely along peripheral nerves.
Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 2014, Vol 225, p. 90-96
Electrophoresis; Electric field; Nerve; Peroneal; Axon; Threshold tracking; Animals; Biological Transport; Electric Stimulation; Electrophysiology; Mice; Mice, Transgenic; Peroneal Nerve; Rats; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.