Pores in synthetic nerve conduits are beneficial to regeneration

C.L.A.M. Vleggeert-lankamp, G.C.W. de Ruiter, J.F.C. Wolfs, A.P. Pêgo, R.J. van den Berg, H.K.P. Feirabend, M.J.A. Malessy, E.A.J.F. Lakke

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65 Citations (Scopus)


Current opinion holds that pores in synthetic nerve guides facilitate nerve regeneration. Solid factual support for this opinion, however, is absent; most of the relevant studies assessed only morphological parameters and results have been contradictory. To evaluate the effect of pores, the rat sciatic nerve was either autografted or grafted with nonporous, macroporous (10-230 m), and microporous (1-10 m) biodegradable -caprolactone grafts. Twelve weeks later, the grafted nerves were resected, and the electrophysiological properties were determined in vitro. Subsequently midgraft-level sections were inspected, and peroneal nerve sections were evaluated morphometrically. Finally, the gastrocnemic and tibial muscle morphometrical properties were quantified. The microporous nerve graft performed much better than the nonporous and macroporous grafts with respect to most parameters: it was bridged by a free floating bundle that contained myelinated nerve fibers, there were more nerve fibers present distal to the graft, the electrophysiological response rate was higher, and the decrease in muscle cross-sectional area was markedly smaller. Hence, the present study demonstrates the beneficial effect of synthetic nerve guide pores on nerve regeneration, although with the caveat that not pores per se, but only small (1-10 m) pores were effective.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)965-982
JournalJournal of biomedical materials research. Part A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Nerve regeneration
  • Nerve guide
  • IR-72337
  • Porosity
  • nerve morphology
  • Electrophysiology

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