Each year, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide suffer from peripheral nerve injuries, which often leave them with long-term disabilities. The peripheral nervous system is analogous to the circulatory system; a network of vessels that reaches all parts of the body, but instead of blood flowing through vessels, electrical signals propagate information through thin fibers called axons, which are engulfed within nerve trunks. These nerve trunks are the communication network relaying information from all parts of the body to the brain, coordinating activity, and generating motor and sensory function. If one of the nerve trunks is damaged or torn--a common condition in limb injuries--a patient can experience pain, paralysis, and even a life-long disability.
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