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Regeneration and functional recovery of peripheral nerves remain formidable due to the inefficient physical and chemical cues in the available nerve guidance conduits (NGCs). Introducing micropatterns and bioactive substances into the inner wall of NGCs can effectively regulate the behavior of Schwann cells, the elongation of axons and the phenotype of macrophages, thereby aiding the regeneration of injured nerve. In this study, linear micropatterns with ridges and grooves of 3/3, 5/5, 10/10 and 30/30 μm were created on poly(D,L-lactide-co-caprolactone) (PLCL) films, following with surface aminolysis and electrostatic adsorption of graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets. The GO-modified micropatterns could significantly accelerate the collective migration of Schwann cells (SCs) and migration of SCs from their spheroids in vitro. Moreover, the SCs migrated directionally along the stripes with a fastest rate on the 3/3-GO film that had the largest cell adhesion force. The neurites of N2a cells were oriented along the micropatterns, and the macrophages tended to differentiate into the M2 type on the 3/3-GO film judged by the higher expression of Arg 1 and IL-10. The systematic histological and functional assessments of the regenerated nerves at 4 and 8 weeks post surgery in vivo confirmed that the 3/3-GO NGCs had better performance to promote the nerve regeneration, and the CMAP, NCV, wet weight of gastrocnemius muscle, positive S100β and NF200 area percentages, and average myelinated axon diameter were more close to those of the autografts group at 8 weeks. This type of NGCs thus has a great potential for nerve regeneration.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: ACS applied materials & interfaces
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Neurology - Central Nervous System (CNS)
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