Peripheral nerve regeneration by microbraided poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide) biodegradable polymer fibers.
Tiny tubes with fiber architecture were developed by a novel method of fabrication upon introducing some modification to the microbraiding technique, to function as nerve guide conduit and the feasibility of in vivo nerve regeneration was investigated through several of these conduits. Poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide) (10:90) polymer fibers being biocompatible and biodegradable were used for the fabrication of the conduits. The microbraided nerve guide conduits (MNGCs) were characterized using scanning electron microscopy to study the surface morphology and fiber arrangement. Degradation tests were performed and the micrographs of the conduit showed that the degradation of the conduit is by fiber breakage indicating bulk hydrolysis of the polymer. Biological performances of the conduits were examined in the rat sciatic nerve model with a 12-mm gap. After implantation of the MNGC to the right sciatic nerve of the rat, there was no inflammatory response. One week after implantation, a thin tissue capsule was formed on the outer surface of the conduit, indicating good biological response of the conduit. Fibrin matrix cable formation was seen inside the MNGC after 1 week implantation. One month after implantation, 9 of 10 rats showed successful nerve regeneration. None of the implanted tubes showed tube breakage. The MNGCs were flexible, permeable, and showed no swelling apart from its other advantages. Thus, these new poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide) microbraided conduits can be effective aids for nerve regeneration and repair and may lead to clinical applications.
Bini, TB; Gao, S; Xu, X; Wang, S; Ramakrishna, S; Leong, KW
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