Gelatin-tricalcium phosphate membrane modified with NGF and cultured Schwann cells for peripheral nerve repair: A tissue engineering approach

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study attempted to enhance the efficacy of peripheral nerve regeneration using our previously developed gelatin-tricalcium phosphate (GTG) conduits by incorporating them with nerve growth factors and cultured Schwann cells. The nerve growth factors were covalently immobilized onto the GTG conduits (GEN) using carbodiimide. Schwann cells were harvested from neonatal Lewis rats, cultured for seven days and injected into the GEN conduits. The experiment was performed in three groups: GTG conduits, GEN conduits and GEN conduits with Schwann cells injected (GEN+ Sc). The effects of different conduits (GTG, GEN and GEN with Schwann cells) on the peripheral nerve regeneration were evaluated in rat sciatic nerve repair model. 24 weeks after implantation of conduits, degradation of the conduits in all groups was illustrated by the fragmentation of the conduits. All conduits were well tolerated by the host tissue. Under microscopic evaluations, regenerated nerve tissue with myelinated and unmyelinated axons presented in all groups. Histomorphometrically, the total nerve area of GEN+ Sc group was significantly higher than GTG group. Conversely, the autotomy score evaluated 12 weeks after nerve repair showed better results for GTG group. Besides, GEN+ Sc group had the highest average recovery index of compound muscle action potential, but the difference among each group did not reach statistical significance. Although the electrophysiological recovery of nerve was not significantly improved with GEN+ Sc conduit, nerve repair using tissue engineered conduits still provided better histological results. However, it should be noticed that autotomy may be the price paid for enhanced peripheral nerve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedical Engineering - Applications, Basis and Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 25 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradable nerve conduit
  • Gelatin
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Schwann cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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