The fast and accurate identification of nerve tracts is critical for successful nerve anastomosis. Taking advantage of differences in acetylcholinesterase content between the spinal ventral and dorsal roots, we developed a novel quartz crystal microbalance method to distinguish between these nerves based on acetylcholinesterase antibody reactivity. The acetylcholinesterase antibody was immobilized on the electrode surface of a quartz crystal microbalance and reacted with the acetylcholinesterase in sample solution. The formed antigen and antibody complexes added to the mass of the electrode inducing a change in frequency of the electrode. The spinal ventral and dorsal roots were distinguished by the change in frequency. The ventral and dorsal roots were cut into 1 to 2-mm long segments and then soaked in 250 μL PBS. Acetylcholinesterase antibody was immobilized on the quartz crystal microbalance gold electrode surface. The results revealed that in 10 minutes, both spinal ventral and dorsal roots induced a frequency change; however, the frequency change induced by the ventral roots was notably higher than that induced by the dorsal roots. No change was induced by bovine serum albumin or PBS. These results clearly demonstrate that a quartz crystal microbalance sensor can be used as a rapid, highly sensitive and accurate detection tool for the quick identification of spinal nerve roots intraoperatively.Research Highlights
(1) An acetylcholinesterase antibody-based quartz crystal microbalance was used for the rapid identification of spinal ventral and dorsal roots.Research Highlights
(2) Using the quartz crystal microbalance, spinal ventral and dorsal roots can be identified in 10 minutes. The frequency change induced by ventral roots was notably higher than that induced by dorsal roots. This novel method permits the rapid identification of spinal ventral and dorsal roots, and provides a basis for the correct anastomosis and repair of nerve roots.