Preparation and Characterization of a Conduit for Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
Background: Nowadays, peripheral nerve defect is still a great clinical challenge. The
autologous nerve grafts, allogeneic nerve grafts and non-nerve autologous grafts have been used for the
repair of peripheral nerve defects. However, the drawbacks are also very obvious. There is an urgent
need for a peripheral nerve repair product that can match or exceed the abilities of the current “gold
standard”, nerve autografts.
Objective: Herein, A poly (d,l-lactic acid)/β-tricalcium phosphate/hyaluronic acid/chitosan/nerve
growth factor(PDLLA/β-TCP/HA/CHS/NGF) nerve conduit was prepared for the repair of peripheral
Method: NGF was cross-linked to the PDLLA/β-TCP/HA/CHS composite material through layer-bylayer
electrostatic self-assembly (LBL-ESA) and cross-linking technology. The physicochemical properties
of the nerve conduit were investigated followed by an in vitro cell behavior evaluation.
Results: Attenuated total reflectance fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and scanning
electron microscopy (SEM) images showed the conduit had been fabricated successfully with interconnected
pores and a semi-permeable structure. The tensile strength of the nerve conduit was 5.93 ± 0.62
MPa, which is near the average value of peripheral nerve. Contact angle testing showed that it had favorable
hydrophilicity. The degradation behavior, evaluated by pH change, weight loss ratio and structure
change, indicated that the conduit could retain its integrity after 12 weeks. In vitro cell evaluation
showed that the conduit had low toxicity and allowed bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells
(BMMSCs) to adhere.
Conclusion: The PDLLA/β-TCP/HA/CHS/NGF nerve conduit could be a promising candidate for
nerve damage repair.
Keywords: β-tricalcium phosphate, chitosan, hyaluronic acid, nerve growth factor, nerve conduit, polylactic acid.
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