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Peripheral nerve regeneration through biodegradable conduits prepared by solvent evaporation.


The present study proposed a new approach for the production of tubular conduits designed for peripheral nerve repair. In this sense, PLLA and PCL membranes were obtained after solvent evaporation and wrapped around a mandrel. The effectiveness of nerve regeneration was compared with that obtained with polyethylene and PCL extruded prostheses 30 and 60 days after surgery. The comparison between extrusion and membrane-derived tubes clearly showed structural differences, which were directly proportional to the hardness and transparency. An important factor to be considered is that the fiber count indicated that membrane-derived PCL tubes provided a significantly greater number of axons 30 days after repair. Sixty days after the operation, the greatest regenerative performance was obtained with PCL, regardless of the tube construction method. An intense labeling against S100, type IV collagen and laminin could be observed in the tissue obtained from membrane-derived PCL and PLLA groups, indicating that such constructions were able to positively stimulate Schwann cell responses. Overall, the present results provided evidence that membrane-derived conduits could be regarded as an alternative preparation method for tubular prostheses aimed at peripheral nerve regeneration. (AU)

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