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Biomimetic Nerve Guidance Conduit Containing Intraluminal Microchannels with Aligned Nanofibers Markedly Facilitates in Nerve Regeneration

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-06-28, 00:00 authored by David J. Lee, Arjun Fontaine, Xianzhong Meng, Daewon Park
Although the gold standard for the surgical treatment of peripheral nerve injury, the autograft is associated with many drawbacks, including a second surgical procedure, donor site morbidity, mismatch of donor nerve size, and limited donor nerve length. As an alternative to the autograft, nerve guidance conduits may be used to promote neuronal growth and guide axonal extension after nerve injury. Using a blend of RGD-conjugated polyurea and polycaprolactone, a nerve guidance conduit was designed consisting of intraluminal microchannels with aligned nanofibers. A 10 mm sciatic nerve transection rat model was used to evaluate the efficacy of the conduit up to 8 weeks after nerve transection and conduit implantation. Restoration of electrophysiological activity from the nerve guidance conduit was significantly improved compared to the autograft. Functional and histological assessments indicated that the nerve guidance conduit is comparable to autograft in functional recovery and target muscle reinnervation, respectively.