Nanofibrous nerve conduits for repair of 30-mm-long sciatic nerve defects*
It has been confirmed that nanofibrous poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) nerve conduit can promote peripheral nerve regeneration in rats. However, its efficiency in repair of over 30-mm-long sciatic nerve defects needs to be assessed. In this study, we used a nanofibrous poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) nerve conduit to bridge a 30-mm-long gap in the rat sciatic nerve. At 4 months after nerve conduit implantation, regenerated nerves were macroscopically observed and histologically assessed. In the nanofibrous graft, the rat sciatic nerve trunk had been reconstructed by restoration of nerve continuity and formation of myelinated nerve fiber. There were Schwann cells and glial cells in the regenerated nerves. Masson’s trichrome staining showed that there were no pathological changes in the size and structure of gastrocnemius muscle cells on the operated side of rats. These findings suggest that nanofibrous poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3- hydroxyvalerate) nerve conduit is suitable for repair of long-segment sciatic nerve defects.