Nerve repair: experimental and clinical evaluation of biodegradable artificial nerve guides.
Johnson, Elizabeth O.
Soucacos, Panayotis N.
MetadataShow full item record
SUMMARY: Several methods have been used for bridging nerve gaps. Much of the focus in nerve repair of peripheral nerves has focussed on creating either natural or synthetic tubular nerve guidance channels, as an alternative to nerve autografts. These conduits act to guide axons sprouting from the regenerating nerve end, provide a conduit for diffusion of neurotrophic and neurotropic factors secreted by the injured nerve stump, as well as help protect against infiltration of fibrous tissue. Among the conduits that have been studied are autogenous veins, arteries, mesothelial chambers, synthetic tubes, collagen tubes, amnion tubes, cardiac and skeletal muscle, and silicon tubes. This paper briefly reviews major studies in which bioabsorbable nerve guides were used for peripheral nerve repair, with a particular emphasis on polymeric guidance channels, in an effort to evaluate their use, their ability to support or enhance nerve regeneration and any potential problems.