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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2013 Oct;101(10):2763-77. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.34581. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

Neural regeneration in a novel nerve conduit across a large gap of the transected sciatic nerve in rats with low-level laser phototherapy.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China; Department of Neurosurgery, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China.


This study proposes a biodegradable nerve conduit comprising 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC) cross-linked gelatin annexed with β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) ceramic particles (EDC-gelatin-TCP, EGT). For this study, the EGT-implant site in rats was irradiated using 660-nm GaAlAsP laser diodes (50 mW) for trigger point therapy to investigate the use of low-level laser (LLL) stimulation in the regeneration of a 15-mm transected sciatic nerve. Animals were divided into three groups: a control group undergoing autologous nerve graft (autograft); a sham-irradiated group (EGT), and an experimental group undergoing laser stimulation (EGT/LS). Two trigger points on the surgical incision along the sciatic nerve were irradiated transcutaneously for 2 min daily for 10 consecutive days. Twelve weeks after implantation, walking track analysis showed a significantly higher sciatic functional index (SFI; p < 0.05) and improved toe spreading development in the autograft and EGT/LS groups, compared to the EGT group. In the electrophysiological measurement, the mean recovery index (peak amplitude and area) of the compound muscle action potential curves in the autograft and EGT/LS groups showed significantly improved functional recovery than in the EGT group (p < 0.05). Compared with the EGT group, the autograft and EGT/LS groups showed a reduction in muscular atrophy. Histomorphometric assessments showed that the EGT/LS group had undergone more rapid nerve regeneration than the EGT group. Therefore, motor function, electrophysiological reaction, muscular reinnervation, and histomorphometric assessments demonstrate that LLL therapy can accelerate the repair of a 15-mm transected peripheral nerve in rats after being bridged with the EGT nerve conduit.

Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., a Wiley Company.


low-level laser; nerve conduit; neural regeneration; peripheral nerve injury; sciatic nerve

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