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Nerve Guidance Conduits from Aligned Nanofibers: Improvement of Nerve Regeneration through Longitudinal Nanogrooves on a Fiber Surface

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posted on 08.04.2015, 00:00 by Chen Huang, Yuanming Ouyang, Haitao Niu, Nanfei He, Qinfei Ke, Xiangyu Jin, Dawei Li, Jun Fang, Wanjun Liu, Cunyi Fan, Tong Lin
A novel fibrous conduit consisting of well-aligned nanofibers with longitudinal nanogrooves on the fiber surface was prepared by electrospinning and was subjected to an in vivo nerve regeneration study on rats using a sciatic nerve injury model. For comparison, a fibrous conduit having a similar fiber alignment structure without surface groove and an autograft were also conducted in the same test. The electrophysiological, walking track, gastrocnemius muscle, triple-immunofluorescence, and immunohistological analyses indicated that grooved fibers effectively improved sciatic nerve regeneration. This is mainly attributed to the highly ordered secondary structure formed by surface grooves and an increase in the specific surface area. Fibrous conduits made of longitudinally aligned nanofibers with longitudinal nanogrooves on the fiber surface may offer a new nerve guidance conduit for peripheral nerve repair and regeneration.