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Dextran-based tube-guides for the regeneration of the rat sciatic nerve after neurotmesis injury

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Abstract

In this work, dextran-based nerve tube-guides were prepared, characterized and used in a standardized animal model of neurotmesis injury. Non-porous and porous transparent tube-guides were obtained by photocrosslinking of two co-macromonomers based on dextran and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). Swelling capacity of the tube-guides ranged from 40–60% with no visible constriction of their inner diameter. In vitro hydrolytic degradation tests showed that the tube-guides maintained their structural integrity up to 6 months. The in vivo performance of the tube-guides was evaluated by entubulation of the rat sciatic nerve after a neurotmesis injury, with a 10 mm-gap between the nerve stumps. The results showed that the tube-guides were able to promote the regeneration of the nerve in a similar manner to what was observed with conventional techniques (nerve graft and end-to-end suture). Stereological analysis proved that nerve regeneration occurred, and both tube-guides presented fibre diameter and g-ratio closer to healthy sciatic nerves. The histomorphometric analysis of Tibialis anterior (TA) skeletal muscle showed decreased neurogenic atrophy in the porous tube-guides treated group, presenting measurements that are similar to the uninjured control.

Graphical abstract: Dextran-based tube-guides for the regeneration of the rat sciatic nerve after neurotmesis injury

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Article information


Submitted
10 Jun 2019
Accepted
20 Dec 2019
First published
23 Dec 2019

Biomater. Sci., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Dextran-based tube-guides for the regeneration of the rat sciatic nerve after neurotmesis injury

A. C. Pinho, M. Vieira Branquinho, R. D. Alvites, A. C. Fonseca, A. R. Caseiro, S. Santos Pedrosa, A. L. Luís, I. Pires, J. Prada, L. Muratori, G. Ronchi, S. Geuna, J. D. Santos, A. C. Maurício, A. C. Serra and J. F. J. Coelho, Biomater. Sci., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9BM00901A

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