An in vivo study of tricalcium phosphate and glutaraldehyde crosslinking gelatin conduits in peripheral nerve repair

Ming Hong Chen, Pei Ru Chen, Mei Hsiu Chen, Sung Tsang Hsieh, Jing Shan Huang, Feng Huei Lin

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37 Citations (Scopus)


In order to modulate the mechanical properties of gelatin, we previously developed a biodegradable composite composed by tricalcium phosphate and glutaraldehyde crosslinking gelatin (GTG) feasible for surgical manipulation. In this study, we evaluated the in vivo applications of GTG conduit for peripheral nerve repair. The effect of sciatic nerve reconstruction was compared between resorbable permeable GTG conduits and durable impermeable silicone tubes. Traditional methods of assessing nerve recovery following peripheral nerve repair including histomorphometric and electrophysiologic features were conducted in our study. In addition, autotomy score and sciatic function index (SFI) in walking tract analysis were used as additional parameters for assessing the return of nerve function. Twenty-four weeks after sciatic nerve repair, the GTG conduits were harvested. Microscopically, regeneration of nerves was observed in the cross-section at the mid portion of all implanted GTG conduits. The cross-sectional area of regenerated nerve of the GTG group was significant larger than that of the silicone group. In the compound muscle action potentials (CMAP), the mean recovery index of CMAP amplitude was 0.24 ± 0.02 for the silicone group, 0.41 ± 0.07 for the GTG group. The mean SFI increased with time in the GTG group during the evaluation period until 24 weeks. Walking tract analysis showed a higher SFI score in the GTG group at both 12 and 24 weeks. The difference reached a significant level at 24 weeks. Thus, the histomorphometric, electrophysiologic, and functional assessments demonstrate that GTG can be a candidate for peripheral nerve repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradable nerve conduit
  • Gelatin
  • Glutaraldehyde
  • Peripheral nerve regeneration
  • Tricalcium phosphate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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