Journal article Open Access
Background: Peripheral nerve trauma remains a major cause of motor disability, at the same time functional restoration after treatment continues to show modest results. Acupoint embedding therapy is a type of acupuncture treatment in which different biodegradable materials are inserted into specific points for long-term stimulation. It has a good analgesic effect in chronic pain, and it is considered a cure for many diseases. Different biodegradable materials have been developed and widely used. Catgut has a good biodegradability and low price, but it could cause infections and having unstable chemical properties had been limited in clinical use. Such synthetic materials as polylactic acid and polyglycolic acid present low-cost, good biodegradability and biocompatibility compared with the catgut. However, their poor hydrophilicity and cell adhesion limited their therapeutic efficacy. The ideal embedding
materials are required to be safe, non-toxic, biocompatible, and to have excellent swelling and biodegradation behaviors. Acupoint embedding therapy can be a promising treatment method of peripheral nerve disorders.
Conclusions: Acupoint embedding therapy is an invasive treatment which can prolong point stimulation, reduces the frequencies of pain and psychological fear of patients. It seems to be a promising method of neuropathy treatment. The properties of the filaments for acupoint embedding therapy can be improved by surface modification technologies.