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Artif Organs. 2006 Jul;30(7):514-22.

Biomaterials and strategies for nerve regeneration.

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1
Institute of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. d91548006@ntu.edu.tw

Abstract

Nerve regeneration is a complex biological phenomenon. Once the nervous system is impaired, its recovery is difficult and malfunctions in other parts of the body may occur because mature neurons do not undergo cell division. To increase the prospects of axonal regeneration and functional recovery, researches have focused on designing "nerve guidance channels" or "nerve conduits." When developing ideal tissue-engineered nerve conduits, several components come to mind. They include a biodegradable and porous channel wall, the ability to deliver bioactive growth factors, incorporation of support cells, an internal oriented matrix to support cell migration, intraluminal channels to mimic the structure of nerve fascicles, and electrical activities. This article reviews the factors that are critical for nerve repair, and the advanced technologies that are explored to fabricate nerve conduits. To more accurately mimic natural repair in the body, recent studies have focused on the use of various advanced approaches to create ideal nerve conduits that combine multiple stimuli in an effort to better mimic the complex signals normally found in the body.

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