Efficacy of nanofibrous conduits in repair of long-segment sciatic nerve defects*

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Our previous studies have histomorphologically confirmed that nanofibrous poly(3-hydroxybutyrateco-3-hydroxyvalerate) conduit can be used to repair 30-mm-long sciatic nerve defects. However, the repair effects on rat behaviors remain poorly understood. In this study, we used nanofibrous poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) conduit and autologous sciatic nerve to bridge 30-mm-long rat sciatic nerve gaps. Within 4 months after surgery, rat sciatic nerve functional recovery was evaluated per month by behavioral analyses, including toe out angle, toe spread analysis, walking track analysis, extensor postural thrust, swimming test, open-field analysis and nociceptive function. Results showed that rat sciatic nerve functional recovery was similar after fibrous poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) conduit and autologous nerve grafting. These findings suggest that nanofibrous poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) conduit is suitable in use for repair of long-segment sciatic nerve defects.

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