Nontoxic nerve guide tubes support neovascular growth in transected rat optic nerve.
Nontoxic, bioresorbable "nerve guide" tubes were used to bridge the transected optic nerves of adult rats. Nerve guides were fabricated as polymers of synthetic poly D,L-lactates with 2% triethyl citrate added as a plasticizer. The local environment was manipulated further by the addition of the proteins collagen, fibrinogen, and anti-Thy-1 antibody to the nerve guide lumens at the time of operation. Neovascular growth through the nerve guide lumens was quantified with the aid of a computer-controlled microscope. Neovascular growth was greater in the nerve guides to which proteins had been added, compared with initially empty nerve guides. These experiments demonstrated the effectiveness of these nerve guide tubes in supporting and directing neovascular growth in the mammalian central nervous system, and suggested that specific alterations of the local environment within the nerve guide lumen can affect the extent of neovascular growth.
Madison, R; Sidman, RL; Nyilas, E; Chiu, TH; Greatorex, D
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