Polymer scaffold with preferential parallel grooves enhance nerve regeneration.

Seyedeh Atefeh Mobasseri, Alessandro Faroni, Ben Michael Minogue, Sandra Downes, Giorgio Terenghi, Adam Reid, BM Minogue, AJ. Reid

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We have modified the surface topography of poly ε-caprolactone (PCL) and poly lactic acid (PLA) blended films to improve cell proliferation and to guide the regeneration of peripheral nerves. Films with differing shaped grooves were made using patterned silicon templates: sloped walls (SL), V-shaped (V) and square shaped (SQ), and compared to non-grooved surfaces with micro-pits. The solvent cast films were tested in vitro using adult adipose derived stem cells differentiated to Schwann cell-like cells (dASC). Cell attachment, proliferation and cell orientation were all improved on the grooved surfaces, with SL grooves giving the best results. We present in vivo data on Sprague Dawley rat sciatic nerve injury with 10mm gap, evaluating nerve regeneration at 3 weeks across a polymer nerve conduit modified with intra-luminal grooves (SL, V and SQ) and differing wall thickness (70, 100, 120 and 210 μm). The SL grooved nerve conduit showed a significant improvement over the other topographical shaped grooves, whilst increasing the conduit wall thickness saw no positive effect on the biological response of the regenerating nerve. Furthermore, the preferred SL grooved conduit (C) with 70μm wall thickness was compared to current clinical gold standard of autologous nerve graft (Ag) in the rat 10mm sciatic nerve gap model. At 3 weeks post-surgery, all nerve gaps across both groups were bridged with regenerated nerve fibers. At 16 weeks, features of regenerated axons were comparable between the autograft (Ag) and conduit (C) groups. End organ assessments of muscle weight, electromyography and skin reinnervation were also similar between the groups. The comparable experimental outcome between conduit and autograft, suggests that the PCL/PLA conduit with inner-lumen micro-structured grooves could be used as potential alternative treatment for peripheral nerve repair.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1152-1162
    Number of pages10
    JournalTissue Engineering. Part A
    Issue number5-6
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2015


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