Graft repair of a peripheral nerve without the sacrifice of a healthy donor nerve by the use of acutely dissociated autologous Schwann cells.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We hypothesised that pieces of nerve that are normally trimmed away during graft repair could be a source of Schwann cells and used to create an autologous cell-containing nerve graft. To test the idea a transsection injury was made on the rat sciatic nerve. Seven days later, pieces from the proximal and distal stumps were used for the immediate isolation of its non-neuronal cells. These cells, of which 80% were Schwann cells, were injected into a silicone tube bridging a 10 mm gap on the same nerve. Tubes containing cells showed superior regeneration of nerve fibres across the gap compared with tubes with no cells. This new repair technique is rapid, does not require the sacrifice of a healthy donor nerve, or the time-consuming culturing and expansion of Schwann cells. The method has the potential to replace current methods for repair of extended nerve injuries.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery


  • Sciatic nerve, nerve repair, Schwann cell
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalScandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch