Send to

Choose Destination
J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2018 Nov;12(11):2125-2137. doi: 10.1002/term.2731. Epub 2018 Sep 12.

Cell-enrichment with olfactory ensheathing cells has limited local extra beneficial effects on nerve regeneration supported by the nerve guide Perimaix.

Author information

Department of Plastic Surgery, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, Burn Center, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.
Department of Hand-Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Burn Trauma Center, BG Trauma Center Ludwigshafen, University of Heidelberg, Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Department of Plastic, Hand, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Helios Klinikum Wuppertal, University Witten/Herdecke, Wuppertal, Germany.
Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.
Institute of Neuropathology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.
Department of General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery, Private Medical University, Nuremberg, Germany.
Neuropharmacology, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.
Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.
Translational Brain Medicine (JARA Brain), Juelich-Aachen Research Alliance, Germany.


The reconstruction of peripheral nerve injuries is clinically challenging, and today, the autologous nerve transplantation is still considered as the only gold standard remedy for nerve lesions where a direct nerve coaptation is not possible. Nevertheless, the functional merits of many biomaterials have been tested as potential substitutes for the autologous nerve transplant. One of the strategies that have been pursued is the combination of bioengineered nerve guides with cellular enrichment. In this present study, we combined the previously evaluated collagen-based and microstructured nerve guide Perimaix with olfactory ensheathing cell enrichment. Rat sciatic nerve defects of 20 mm were either bridged by a cell-seeded or nonseeded nerve guide or an autologous nerve transplant. Animals were monitored for 12 weeks for structural and functional parameters. Seeded cells survived on Perimaix, and following implantation aligned along the microstructured Perimaix framework. Axonal densities within the cell-seeded nerve guides were higher than in the nonseeded nerve guides and were comparable to the autograft. Additionally, cell-seeding had local beneficial effects on myelination within the nerve guide, as myelin sheath thickness was enhanced when compared with the empty scaffold. Nevertheless, for bridging the nerve gap of 20 mm, both the cell-seeded as well as nonseeded scaffolds were equally efficient regarding the functional outcome, which did not differ between the autograft, seeded or nonseeded groups. Our data demonstrate that olfactory ensheathing cell enrichment has local effects on nerve regeneration in combination with the Perimaix nerve guide. Surprisingly, for traversing the lesion gap, additional cell-seeding is not crucial.


nerve guide; nerve reconstruction; olfactory nerve ensheathing cells; peripheral nerve injury


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center