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Biomaterials. 2008 Apr;29(11):1601-9. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

Peripheral nerve regeneration within an asymmetrically porous PLGA/Pluronic F127 nerve guide conduit.

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  • 1Department of Advanced Materials, Hannam University, 461-6 Jeonmin Dong, Yuseong Gu, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea.


Asymmetrically porous tubes with selective permeability and hydrophilicity as nerve guide conduits (NGCs) were fabricated using poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and Pluronic F127 by a modified immersion precipitation method. The inner surface of the tube had nano-size pores ( approximately 50nm) which can effectively prevent from fibrous tissue infiltration but permeate nutrients and retain neurotrophic factors, while the outer surface had micro-size pores ( approximately 50microm) which can allow vascular ingrowth for effective supply of nutrients into the tube. From the animal study using a rat model, the hydrophilized PLGA/F127 (3wt%) tube showed better nerve regeneration behavior than the control silicone or hydrophobic PLGA tubes, as investigated by immunohistochemical observation (by fluorescent microscopy with anti-neurofilament staining), histological observations (by light microscopy with toluidine blue staining and transmission electron microscopy), and electrophysiological evaluation (by compound muscle action potential measurement). This is probably owing to the effective permeation of nutrients and prevention of fibrous scar tissue invasion as well as the good mechanical strength of the tube to maintain a stable support structure for the nerve regeneration.

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