Long term peripheral nerve regeneration using a novel PCL nerve conduit

Adam J. Reid, Alba C. de Luca, Alessandro Faroni, Sandra Downes, Mingzhu Sun, Giorgio Terenghi, Paul J. Kingham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The gold standard in surgical management of a peripheral nerve gap is currently autologous nerve grafting. This confers patient morbidity and increases surgical time therefore innovative experimental strategies towards engineering a synthetic nerve conduit are welcome. We have developed a novel synthetic conduit made of poly ε-caprolactone (PCL) that has demonstrated promising peripheral nerve regeneration in short-term studies. This material has been engineered to permit translation into clinical practice and here we demonstrate that histological outcomes in a long-term in vivo experiment are comparable with that of autologous nerve grafting. A 1. cm nerve gap in a rat sciatic nerve injury model was repaired with a PCL nerve conduit or an autologous nerve graft. At 18 weeks post surgical repair, there was a similar volume of regenerating axons within the nerve autograft and PCL conduit repair groups, and similar numbers of myelinated axons in the distal stump of both groups. Furthermore, there was evidence of comparable re-innervation of end organ muscle and skin with the only significant difference the lower wet weight of the muscle from the PCL conduit nerve repair group. This study stimulates further work on the potential use of this synthetic biodegradable PCL nerve conduit in a clinical setting. © 2013 The Authors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-130
    Number of pages5
    JournalNeuroscience letters
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2013


    • Biomaterial
    • Nerve conduit
    • Nerve regeneration
    • Peripheral nerve
    • Poly ε-caprolactone


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