Controlling dispersion of axonal regeneration using a multichannel collagen nerve conduit
Single channel conduits are used clinically in nerve repair as an alternative to the autologous nerve graft. Axons regenerating across single channel tubes, however, may disperse resulting in inappropriate target reinnervation. This dispersion may be limited by multichannel nerve conduits as they resemble the structure of nerve multiple basal lamina tubes. In this study, we investigated the influence of channel number on the axonal regeneration using a series of 1-, 2-, 4-, and 7-channel collagen conduits and commercial (NeuraGen®) single channel conduits. Nerve conduits were implanted in rats with a 1 cm gap of sciatic nerve. After four months, quantitative results of regeneration were evaluated with nerve morphometry and the accuracy of regeneration was assessed using retrograde tracing: two tracers being applied simultaneously to tibial and peroneal nerves to determine the percentage of motor neurons with double projections. Recovery of function was investigated with compound muscle action potential recordings and ankle motion analysis. We showed that the fabricated 1-channel and 4-channel conduits are superior to other types of conduits in axonal regeneration. Simultaneous tracing showed a significantly lower percentage of motor neurons with double projections after 2- and 4-channel compared with 1-channel conduit repair. This study shows the potential influence of multichannel guidance on limiting dispersion without decreasing quantitative results of regeneration.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 31, Issue 22, August 2010, Pages 5789–5797