Sustained release of nerve growth factor from biodegradable polymer microspheres

Paul J. Camarata, Raj Suryanarayanan, Dennis A. Turner, Richard G. Parker, Timothy J Ebner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Although grafted adrenal medullary tissue to the striatum has been used both experimentally and clinically in parkinsonism, there is a definite need to augment long-term survival. Infusion of nerve growth factor (NGF) or implantation of NGF-rich tissue into the area of the graft prolongs survival and induces differentiation into neural-like cells. To provide for prolonged, site-specific delivery of this growth factor to the grafted tissue in a convenient manner, we fabricated biodegradable polymer microspheres of poly(L-lactide)co-glycolide (70:30) containing NGF. Biologically active NGF was released from the microspheres, as assayed by neurite outgrowth in a dorsal root ganglion tissue culture system. Anti-NGF could block this outgrowth. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detected NGF still being released in vitro for longer than 5 weeks. In vivo immunohistochemical studies showed release over a 4.5-week period. This technique should prove useful for incorporating NGF and other growth factors into polymers and delivering proteins and other macromolecules intracerebrally over a prolonged time period. These growth factor-containing polymer microspheres can be used in work aimed at prolonging graft survival, treating experimental Alzheimer's disease, and augmenting peripheral nerve regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-319
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992


  • Biodegradable polymer
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Sustained release


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