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A vascularized nerve graft substitute generated in a chamber bioreactor- A preliminary report

Murat Sinan Engin, Yener Demirtas, Tale Neimetzade, Bulent Ayas, Ibrahim Alper Aksakal, Ahmet Karacalar.

Abstract
Objectives: Treatments of long peripheral nerve defects are limited and a means to construct a vascularized nerve graft substitute has been sought.
Material and Methods: An in vivo chamber bioreactor was designed with the White New Zealand rabbit’s superficial inferior epigastric pedicle (SIEP) and using autologous Schwann cell (ASC) suspension, a tissue volume containing rich vascularization and a dense presence of Schwann cells was constructed. This construct was comparatively tried on 3 cm of a sciatic nerve defect.
Results: A vascularized build with rich blood supply and an abundance of Schwann cells was engineered and utilized for nerve regeneration and transmission, axonal passage being displayed.
Conclusion: According to the literature review, this is the first achievement of engineering a nerve graft substitute containing vascularized Schwann cells. Therefore, it is believed this study has yielded significant preliminary results, providing a basis for future studies.

Key words: Peripheral nerves, tissue engineering, autologous schwann cells, cell culture, vascularized nerve graft






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