Peripheral nerve defects (PND) often cause lifelong physical disability, and the available treatment options are often not satisfactory. PND are usually bridged with an autologous nerve transplant or a nerve guidance conduit (NGC), when coaptation as preferred technique is not possible. The aim of this experimental study was to determine the effectiveness of a novel NGC for regeneration in the treatment of PND.
Materials and methods
A conduit made of gelatin with an innovative interior structure was tested for the repair of a 6-mm gap versus direct microsurgical suture repair without gap.
We found that bridging the defect with this conduit was as effective as direct microsurgical coaptation without a defect.
This nerve conduit, effective in bridging neural defects, appears as an alternative to autologous nerve grafts, avoiding the problems related to nerve graft harvesting, host–donor differences in diameter, mismatches in number and pattern of fascicles, cross-sectional shape and area, and morbidity of the donor area.