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Experimental study on the regeneration of peripheral nerve gaps through a polyglycolic acid-collagen (PGA-collagen) tube.

Department of Bioartificial Organs, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, 53 Kawahara cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.
Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.83). 12/2004; 1027(1-2):18-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2004.08.040
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We have developed a bioabsorbable polyglycolic acid (PGA) tube filled with collagen sponge (PGA-collagen tube) as a nerve connective guide, and compared its effectiveness with that of autograft in terms of nerve regeneration across a gap. The PGA-collagen tube was implanted into 24 beagle dogs across a 15-mm gap in the left peroneal nerve. The right peroneal nerve was reconstructed with the autograft harvested from the left side, as a control. After the surgery, the connective tissue extended from both cut ends in the PGA-collagen tube and connected again at the center. Pathologically, the collagen sponge in the tube provided adequate scaffolding for nerve tissue extension, and the nerve tissue reconnected within 3 weeks. Electrophysiologically, muscle-evoked potentials (MEPs) and compound nerve action potentials (CNAPs) were detected 18 days after the surgery. For up to 6 months postsurgery, CNAPs and somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) on the PGA-collagen side had a shorter latency and larger peak voltage than those on the autograft side. The myelinated axons on the PGA side were larger in diameter than those on the autograft side. It is suggested that the PGA-collagen tube has the potential to be an effective alternative to conventional autografting for the repair of some peripheral nerve defects.

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