The role of microstructured and interconnected pore channels in a collagen-based nerve guide on axonal regeneration in peripheral nerves

Ahmet Bozkurt*, Franz Lassner, Dan O'Dey, Ronald Deumens, Arne Boecker, Tilman Schwendt, Christoph Janzen, Christoph V. Suschek, Rene Tolba, Eiji Kobayashi, Bernd Sellhaus, S. Tholl, Lizette Eummelen, Frank Schuegner, Leon Olde Damink, Joachim Weis, Gary A. Brook, Norbert Pallua

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The use of bioengineered nerve guides as alternatives for autologous nerve transplantation (ANT) is a promising strategy for the repair of peripheral nerve defects. In the present investigation, we present a collagen-based micro-structured nerve guide (Perimaix) for the repair of 2 cm rat sciatic nerve defects. Perimaix is an open-porous biodegradable nerve guide containing continuous, longitudinally orientated channels for orientated nerve growth. The effects of these nerve guides on axon regeneration by six weeks after implantation have been compared with those of ANT. Investigation of the regenerated sciatic nerve indicated that Perimaix strongly supported directed axon regeneration. When seeded with cultivated rat Schwann cells (SC), the Perimaix nerve guide was found to be almost as supportive of axon regeneration as ANT. The use of SC from transgenic green-fluorescent-protein (GFP) rats allowed us to detect the viability of donor SC at 1 week and 6 weeks after transplantation. The GFP-positive SC were aligned in a columnar fashion within the longitudinally orientated micro-channels. This cellular arrangement was not only observed prior to implantation, but also at one week and 6 weeks after implantation. It may be concluded that Perimaix nerve guides hold great promise for the repair of peripheral nerve defects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1363-1375
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Nerve regeneration
  • Schwann cells
  • Scaffold
  • Neurotmesis
  • Sciatic nerve
  • Bands of Bungner

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