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Publication Detail
Materials for peripheral nerve repair constructs: Natural proteins or synthetic polymers?
The efficacious repair of severe peripheral nerve injuries is currently an unmet clinical need, and biomaterial constructs offer a promising approach to help promote nerve regeneration. Current research focuses on the development of more sophisticated constructs with complex architecture and the addition of regenerative agents to encourage timely reinnervation and promote functional recovery. This review surveyed the present landscape of nerve repair construct literature with a focus on six selected materials that are frequently encountered in this application: the natural proteins collagen, chitosan, and silk, and the synthetic polymers poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL), poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and poly-glycolic acid (PGA). This review also investigated the use of cell therapy in nerve repair constructs, and in all instances concentrated on publications reporting constructs developed and tested in vivo in the last five years (2015-2020). Across the selected literature, the popularity of natural proteins and synthetic polymers appears to be broadly equivalent, with a similar number of studies reporting successful outcomes in vivo. Both material types are also utilised as vehicles for cell therapy, which has much potential to improve the results of nerve bridging for treating longer gaps.
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