Research ArticleNERVE REGENERATION

Long-gap peripheral nerve repair through sustained release of a neurotrophic factor in nonhuman primates

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Science Translational Medicine  22 Jan 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 527, eaav7753
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav7753

Growth factor guidance

Injuries to peripheral nerves that result in small gaps can heal after reapproximation; however, large gaps that occur after severe injuries require autograft implantation. As an alternative to autografts, Fadia et al. developed biodegradable polymer scaffolds that release a neurotrophic growth factor. In nonhuman primates, growth factor–eluting scaffolds led to increased nerve conduction velocity, greater Schwann cell recruitment, and similar functional recovery as compared to autograft treatment 1 year after median nerve injury. Results suggest that the acellular conduits could improve peripheral nerve regeneration.

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