End-to-side neurorrhaphy using an electrospun PCL/collagen nerve conduit for complex peripheral motor nerve regeneration

Bu Kyu Lee, Young Min Ju, Jae Gu Cho, John D. Jackson, Sang Jin Lee, Anthony Atala, James J. Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


In cases of complex neuromuscular defects, finding the proximal stump of a transected nerve in order to restore innervation to damaged muscle is often impossible. In this study we investigated whether a neighboring uninjured nerve could serve as a source of innervation of denervated damaged muscle through a biomaterial-based nerve conduit while preserving the uninjured nerve function. Tubular nerve conduits were fabricated by electrospinning a polymer blend consisting of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and type I collagen. Using a rat model of common peroneal injury, the proximal end of the nerve conduit was connected to the side of the adjacent uninjured tibial branch (TB) of the sciatic nerve after partial axotomy, and the distal end of the conduit was connected to the distal stump of the common peroneal nerve (CPN). The axonal continuity recovered through the nerve conduit at 8 weeks after surgery. Recovery of denervated muscle function was achieved, and simultaneously, the donor muscle, which was innervated by the axotomized TB also recovered at 20 weeks after surgery. Therefore, this end-to-side neurorrhaphy (ETS) technique using the electrospun PCL/collagen conduit appears to be clinically feasible and would be a useful alternative in instances where autologous nerve grafts or an adequate proximal nerve stump is unavailable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9027-9036
Number of pages10
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Dr. Jennifer Olson for editorial assistance and Ms. Tiffany Bledsoe and Ms. Cathy Mathis for technical assistance. This study was supported, in part, by a grant from the Department of Defense [Orthopaedic Trauma Research Program ( W81XWH-08-1-0333 )].


  • End to side neurorrhaphy
  • Nerve guidance channel
  • Nerve repair
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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