Promotion of nerve regeneration by biodegradable nanofibrous scaffold following sciatic nerve transection in rats

Abstract

Peripheral nerve injuries (PNIs) are one of the common causes of morbidity and disability worldwide. Autograft is considered the gold standard treatment for PNIs. However, due to the complications associated with autografts, other sources are considered as alternatives. Recently, electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds have received wide attention in the field of tissue engineering. Exogenous tubular constructs with uniaxially aligned topographical cues to enhance the axonal re-growth are needed to bridge large nerve gaps between proximal and distal ends. Although several studies have used PLGA/PCL, but few studies have been conducted on developing a two-layer scaffold with aligned fibers properly orientated along the axis direction of the sciatic nerve to meet the physical properties required for suturing, transplantation, and nerve regeneration. In this study, we sought to design and develop PLGA-PCL-aligned nanofibers. Following the conventional examinations, we implanted the scaffolds into 7-mm sciatic nerve gaps in a rat model of nerve injury. Our in vivo evaluations did not show any adverse effects, and after eight weeks, an acceptable improvement was noted in the electrophysiological, functional, and histological analyses. Thus, it can be concluded that nanofiber scaffolds can be used as a reliable approach for repairing PNIs. However, further research is warranted.

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Data availability

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Funding

This research was fully supported by Vice-Chancellor for Research and Technology of Guilan University of Medical Sciences (Grant number: 97021503).

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Investigation and writing the draft: AZ, FZ; Conceptualization, formal analysis, and writing the draft: AZ, FZ; Data curation, methodology: FM-K and SS-F Writing–review and editing: AZ, FZ, SS-F, FM-K; supervision, project administration, funding acquisition: AZ.

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Correspondence to Arash Zaminy.

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All procedures were approved by the Ethics Committee of Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Iran (IR.GUMS.REC.1397.52).

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Moharrami Kasmaie, F., Zamani, F., Sayad-Fathi, S. et al. Promotion of nerve regeneration by biodegradable nanofibrous scaffold following sciatic nerve transection in rats. Prog Biomater 10, 53–64 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40204-021-00151-w

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Keywords

  • Nerve injury
  • Polymer
  • Regeneration
  • Scaffold
  • Sciatic nerve