Rat sciatic nerve regeneration through a micromachined silicon chip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The capacity of regenerating nerve fibres to grow through a perforated silicon chip was tested using the silicone chamber model for nerve regeneration. The chips were fabricated as circular membranes, 4 mm in diameter, thickness 60 microns, with a perforated area, 2 mm in diameter, in the centre. Three types of chips were fabricated utilizing anisotropic etching. The chips were glued with silicone adhesive between two halves of silicone rubber tubing (total length 8 mm, inner diameter 1.8 mm, outer diameter 3.0 mm) which was used to bridge a 4 mm gap between the proximal and distal nerve stumps of a transected rat sciatic nerve. The capacity of regenerating nerve fibres to grow through the holes of the chip was analysed by light and scanning electron microscopy after 4 or 16 weeks of regeneration. Furthermore, the muscle contractility force of the gastrocnemius muscle was measured after 16 weeks of regeneration and compared as a percentage of the contralateral uninjured side. Nerves generated through chips with hole diameters of 10 or 50 microns were morphological and functional failures. The nerve structures distal to chips with hole diameters of 100 microns contained many myelinated nerve fibres in a minifascicular pattern after both 4 and 16 weeks of regeneration. The muscle contractility force was 56% of that of contralateral control muscles.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Bioengineering Equipment


  • Silicon chip, nerve regeneration, rat sciatic nerve, sieve electrode
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-80
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Biomedical Engineering (011200011), Bioimplant Research (013242910), Hand Surgery Research Group (013241910), Solid State Physics (011013006), Neural Interfaces (013212003)