Surgical intervention followed by physical therapy remains the major way to repair damaged nerves and restore function. Imaging constitutes promising, yet underutilized, approaches to improve surgical and postoperative techniques. Dedicated methods for imaging nerve regeneration will potentially provide surgical guidance, enable recovery monitoring and postrepair intervention, elucidate failure mechanisms and optimize preclinical procedures. Herein, we present an outline of promising innovations in imaging-based tracking of in vivo peripheral nerve regeneration. We emphasize optical imaging because of its cost, versatility, relatively low toxicity and sensitivity. We discuss the use of targeted probes and contrast agents (small molecules and nanoparticles) to facilitate nerve regeneration imaging and the engineering of grafts that could be used to track nerve repair. We also discuss how new imaging methods might overcome the most significant challenges in nerve injury treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2659-2677
Number of pages19
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2019


  • MRI
  • Raman imaging
  • contrast agents
  • fluorescence imaging
  • imageable implants
  • nerve regeneration
  • nerve tissue engineering
  • nuclear imaging
  • peripheral nerves
  • photoacoustics
  • ultrasound imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Imaging in the repair of peripheral nerve injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this