Author(s): Xue C, Hu N, Gu Y, Yang Y, Liu Y,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Tissue-engineered nerve grafts (TENGs) constitute a promising alternative to nerve autografts that are recognized as the gold standard for surgical repair of peripheral nerve gaps. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the feasibility of using TENGs for bridging extra large peripheral nerve gaps in large animals. METHODS: TENGs were constructed by incorporating autologous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into a neural scaffold that consisted of a chitosan conduit inserted with poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) fibers. A 60-mm-long sciatic nerve gap in dogs was bridged by TENGs, chitosan/PLGA scaffolds, or nerve autografts. At 12 months postsurgery, behavioral analysis, electrophysiology, retrograde fluorogold tracing, and histological examination were performed. RESULTS: The outcomes of TENGs were similar to those of autografts and better than those of scaffolds alone. CONCLUSION: Introduction of autologous MSCs to a chitosan/PLGA scaffold improved the repair and rehabilitation of a large gap after peripheral nerve injury in dogs. Autologous MSCs may be a source of support cells for neural tissue engineering.
This article was published in Neurorehabil Neural Repair
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation