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Evaluation of Electronspun Silk Fibroin-Based Transplants Used for Facial Nerve Repair

Hu, Aijun*; Zuo, Baoqi; Zhang, Feng; Zhang, Huanxiang; Lan, Qing§

doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e31827b4bd4
Facial Nerve
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Objective To study whether regenerated electrospun silk fibroin (SF) nanofibers as nerve conduits could improve nerve regeneration microenvironment and induce the facial nerve regeneration of Sprague-Dawley rats.

Design Electrospun SF nanofibers were prepared to bridge a 5-mm facial nerve defect in Sprague-Dawley rats. Three months after implantation, a comprehensive morphologic and functional evaluation was performed by electrophysiology, histology, Fluorogold retrograde tracing, and transmission electron micrograph.

Results The SF nanofiber tube exhibited good biocompatibility in vivo, and no distinct regional inflammation response and scar formation was observed. After 3 months of operation, the morphologic and functional investigation has shown a positive evaluation on the nerve repair outcome elicited by SF nanofiber graft and autograft.

Conclusion Electrospun SF grafts could promote nerve regeneration after facial nerve injury and become a potential possibility of newly developed nerve grafts as an alternative of autografts to peripheral nerve regeneration.

*Department of Otolaryngology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Soochow University; †College of Textiles and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk; ‡Department of Cell Biology, Medical College of Soochow University, Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Research; and §Department of Neurology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou Jiangsu People’s Republic of China

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Huanxiang Zhang, Ph.D., Department of Cell Biology, Medical College of Soochow University; Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Research, Suzhou 215123, People’s Republic of China; E-mail: hzhang@suda.edu.cn or Qing Lan, Department of Neurology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, 1055 Sanxiang Road, Suzhou Jiangsu 215006, People’s Republic of China; E-mail: szlq006@yahoo.com.cn

The authors disclose no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.