Objective-To evaluate effect of chitosan conduit for peripheral nerve regeneration using sciatic nerve transection model in rat
Design- Experimental in vivo study.
Animals- Sixty healthy male Wistar rats.
Procedures-The rats were divided into four experimental groups (n=15) randomly. In sham group the left sciatic nerve was exposed through a gluteal muscle incision and after careful homeostasis the wound was sutured. In transected control group the left sciatic nerve was exposed the same way, transected proximal to the tibio-peroneal bifurcation leaving a 10 mm gap and the nerve ends were sutured to the adjacent muscles. In silicone or chitosan groups the left sciatic nerve was transected the same way and proximal and distal stumps were each inserted into a silicone or chitosan tube. Each group was further subdivided into three subgroups of five animals each and were studied 4, 8, 12 weeks post operatively.
Results- Functional and electrophysiological analyses showed significant improvement of nerve function in chitosan than in silicone group (P < 0.05). Morphometric indices and immuohistochemistry indicated that there were significant differences (P < 0.05) between chitosan and silicone with transected control groups 12 weeks after surgery.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance- Chitosan conduit could be considered clinically as an effective biodegradable tube for peripheral nerve regeneration in the least harmful way that is available, easily performed and affordable. It also averts the need for foreign materials that are likely to provoke a foreign body reaction.