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Long term assessment of axonal regeneration through polyimide regenerative electrodes to interface the peripheral nerve

: Lago, N.; Ceballos, D.; Rodriguez, F.J.; Stieglitz, T.; Navarro, X.


Biomaterials 26 (2005), No.14, pp.2021-2031
ISSN: 0142-9612
ISSN: 1878-5905
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Polyimide sieve electrodes were implanted between the severed ends of the sciatic nerve in rats. The degree of axonal regeneration through the electrode was examined by physiological and histological methods from 2 to 12 months post implantation. Regeneration was successful in the 30 animals implanted. Functional reinnervation of hindlimb targets progressed to reach maximal levels at 6 months. Comparatively, the reinnervation of distal plantar muscles was lower than that of proximal muscles and of digital nerves. The number of regenerated myelinated fibers increased from 2 to 6 months. when it was similar to control values. The Majority of myelinated fibers crossing the via holes and regenerated through the distal nerve had a normal appearance. However. in a few cases decline of target reinnervation and loss of regenerated nerve fibers was found from 6 to 12 months postimplantation. Motor axons labeled by ChAT immunoreactivity regenerated scattered within minifascicles, although they were found at higher density at the periphery of the regenerated nerve. The number of ChAT-positive axons was markedly lower distally than proximally to the sieve electrode.