Chitosan/silk fibroin-based tissue-engineered graft seeded with adipose-derived stem cells enhances nerve regeneration in a rat model

  • Yujun Wei
  • Kai Gong
  • Zhenghuan Zheng
  • Aijun Wang
  • Qiang Ao
  • Yandao Gong
  • Xiufang ZhangEmail author


Sciatic nerve injury presents an ongoing challenge in reconstructive surgery. Local stem cell application has recently been suggested as a possible novel therapy. In the present study we evaluated the potential of a chitosan/silk fibroin scaffold serving as a delivery vehicle for adipose-derived stem cells and as a structural framework for the injured nerve regeneration. The cell-loaded scaffolds were used to regenerate rat sciatic nerve across a 10 mm surgically-induced sciatic nerve injury. The functional nerve recovery was assessed by both walking track and histology analysis. Results showed that the reconstruction of the injured sciatic nerve had been significantly enhanced with restoration of nerve continuity and function recovery in the cell-loaded scaffold groups, and their target skeletal muscle had been extensively reinnervated. This study raises a potential possibility of using the newly developed nerve grafts as a promising alternative for nerve regeneration.


Sciatic Nerve Silk Fibroin Nerve Regeneration Negative Control Group Sciatic Nerve Injury 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30670528, 30700848 and 30772443), National Basic Research Program of China (also known as the 973 Program, 2005CB623905) and the National Natural Science Foundation of Beijing (7082090).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yujun Wei
    • 1
  • Kai Gong
    • 1
  • Zhenghuan Zheng
    • 1
  • Aijun Wang
    • 2
  • Qiang Ao
    • 3
  • Yandao Gong
    • 1
  • Xiufang Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Life Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane BiotechnologyTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Neurosurgery of Yuquan HospitalTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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