Divya Bhatnagar is an accomplished scientist with broad research experience in biomaterials, medical devices, regenerative medicine, and cell therapy. Currently, she is a Senior Scientist at Semma Therapeutics where she is a key inventor in developing a macroencapsulation device to encapsulate functional beta cells for type I diabetes treatment. Divya was a postdoctoral fellow at New Jersey Center for Biomaterials where she worked on hydrogel coatings for peripheral nerve regeneration, novel polymer coatings for enamel erosion protection and terminal sterilization methods for polymers and devices. She is a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stony Brook University and has extensive experience in developing novel hydrogels for tissue regeneration. Divya has broad research experience in both academics and industry with 5 patents (granted and pending) and over 19 publications and presentations in several domestic and international conferences.
Porous conduits provide a protected pathway for nerve regeneration, while still allowing exchange of nutrients and wastes. However, pore sizes >30 µm may permit fibrous tissue infiltration into the conduit, which may impede axonal regeneration. In this talk, I will present our work on using Fibrin Glue (FG) coating as a method to control the conduit porosity. FG is extensively used in clinical peripheral nerve repair, as a tissue sealant, filler and drug-delivery matrix. I will discuss our results comparing the performance of FG to an alternative, hyaluronic acid (HA) as a coating for porous conduits, using uncoated porous conduits and reverse autografts as control groups. Histology of FG-coated conduits showed excessive fibrous tissue infiltration inside the lumen, and fibrin capsule formation around the conduit. Although FG has been shown to promote nerve regeneration in non-porous conduits, we found that as a coating for porous conduits in vivo, FG encourages scar tissue infiltration that impedes nerve regeneration. This is a significant finding considering the widespread use of FG in peripheral nerve repair.