Nerve conduits are an established method of clinical treatment in the repair of peripheral nerve damage. By creating a "bridge" of sorts between two ends of a severed nerve, the conduit can facilitate the regeneration and restoration of the damaged nerve. However, the conductivity achieved through one of these conduits can still be improved upon. Recent work done at the NJCBM has shown that hyaluronic acid (HA) coated braided tyrosine-derived polycarbonate (TyprPC) conduits tare able to avoid scar tissue infiltration inside the lumen of the conduit. Further study was done to evaluate the effect of HA gel and the highly aligned collagen fibers as luminal fillers.
Utilizing a 1 centimeter rat sciatic nerve model, electromyography (EMG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), wet muscle mass, and histomorphometry were used to evaluate the functional recovery of the nerve. At the end of 16 weeks, better compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude recovery and higher muscle mass recovery were shown using empty tubes than those with the fillers. Yet, the CMAP recovery in the empty tubes was less than autografts. Ongoing histological and MRI analyses will increase the understanding of the area of myelination, G-ratio, and axonal density.
Further information will be posted upon the release of data from the study.