Peripheral Nerve Regeneration and Repair Technologies

Date(s) - 10/18/2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Virtual via Zoom

Nesreen Alsmadi, Ph.D., Senior Engineer, Research & Development, Axogen

Virtual via Zoom & projected in Communicore, C1-15

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Nerve injuries due to trauma or tumor resection often result in long gaps that are challenging to repair. The best clinical option demands the use of autologous grafts that are associated with serious side effects. Bioengineered nerves are considered a good alternative, particularly if supplemented with growth factors, but current options do not match the regenerative capacity of autografts. The poor success with long nerve gaps may be explained by limited neuronal intrinsic regenerative capacity, non-permissive growth substrate, lack of trophic support, axon guidance errors, and re-innervation of dysfunctional targets. In this talk, I will discuss our results which demonstrate that the topographical multiluminal structural design of a biosynthetic material with sustained growth factors release successfully entice moderate functional nerve regeneration across a 4 cm long gap defect.


Dr. Nesreen Zoghoul Al-Smadi is currently a Senior Scientist/Engineer in the Department of Research and Development at AxoGen, Inc. AxoGen is the leading company specialized in scientific development and commercialization of peripheral nerve regeneration and repair technologies. Her current role includes:
a. The development of state-of-the-art products
b. Serving as a subject-matter expert in the field of neuroscience and peripheral nerve regeneration.
c. Leading the grant strategy committee.
d. Member of The evidence generation team at AxoGen .
e. Member of The empowHer WINers leadership team.

Dr. Nesreen Zoghoul Al-Smadi received a Dual Degree (Bachelors and Masters) in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas – Arlington (UTA) and University of Texas – Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) in fall 2011, focusing on drug delivery systems for cancer research. Right after graduation, Dr. Al-Smadi continued with her education to pursue a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from UTA and UTSW Medical Center. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on nerve regeneration in the peripheral nervous system after a long gap injury in the peroneal nerve using unique combinations of growth factors. In addition, she developed a system to apply a bidirectional gradient of growth factors to enhance nerve regeneration after spinal cord defects. During her Ph.D., Dr. Alsmadi obtained extensive training in synthesis and characterization of polymer and metal nanoparticles, microparticles, fibers, scaffolds, aseptic cell/tissue culture techniques, animal surgery, electrophysiology, preparation and analysis of histological and immunohistochemical samples, proteins, and nucleic acid biochemistry.

Dr. Alsmadi joined the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as a Post-Doctorate, where she studied the immune response for patients with kidney failure. Her work led to the re-designing of the current dialysis systems to minimize side effects. As of now, she has two granted patents and two pending patent applications. In her current work as a senior engineer in Research and Development team at Axogen, she is continuing her research to improve regenerations in the peripheral nervous system.

Dr. Alsmadi considers herself lucky that she was surrounded by an inspirational people especially her husband and children, where she was told early on that moving forward is moving forward regardless of speed. As a new immigrant to the United Stated (non-English speaker), she challenged herself to go through her education starting from a high school diploma to earn a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, while raising three children. She has one message to you all; challenge yourself, push forward, inspire others and be grateful.