Experimental research
In vivo evaluation of nerve guidance channels of PTMC/PLLA porous biomaterial
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Submission date: 2012-09-03
Final revision date: 2012-11-28
Acceptance date: 2012-12-26
Online publication date: 2013-04-19
Publication date: 2015-02-28
Arch Med Sci 2015;11(1):210–219
Introduction: Peripheral nerve disruptions, frequently occurring during limb injuries, give rise to serious complications of patients recovery resulting from limitations in neural tissue regeneration capabilities. To overcome this problem bridging techniques utilizing guidance channels gain their importance. Biodegradable polymeric tubes seem to be more prospective then non-degradable materials – no necessity of implant removal and possibilities of release of incorporated drugs or biologically active agents that may support nerve regeneration process are the main advantages.
Material and methods: Polymer blend of commercial poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) and in-house synthesized poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC) were processed in an organic solvent – phase inversion process on a supporting rod – to form a guidance porous tube of 1.1 mm inner diameter. In vivo experiments on rat’s cut femoral nerve by using either the tubes or end-to-end suturing (control group) involved 22 and 19 rats, respectively. Motor recovery of operated limbs, neuroma occurrence and histopathology of explanted nerves were evaluated after 30, 60 and 90 days of implantation.
Results: Motor recovery of the limbs was of similar rate for the two animal groups. The neuroma formation was evident in over 90% control specimens, while for the bridging group it was less than 40% of all evaluable samples (p = 0.0022). Biocompatibility of applied materials was affirmed by moderate tissue response.
Conclusions: Application of the biodegradable PLLA/PTMC polymeric tubes effectively supports regeneration of discontinued nerves. The applied material prevents neuroma formation, by reducing the scar tissue formation time and, thus, accelerating the process of neural tissue restoration.