Schwann cells, acutely dissociated from a predegenerated nerve trunk, can be applied into a matrix used to bridge nerve defects in rats
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
BACKGROUND: The gold standard to reconstruct a nerve defect is a conventional autologous nerve graft. There may be a lack of such grafts in severe nerve injuries. Alternatives to autologous nerve grafts are needed. METHODS: We have developed a technique where mainly Schwann cells are acutely dissociated from the ends of the severed nerve trunk after nerve injury. The technique does not require long-term cell culture procedures. The obtained cells, which can be dissociated within a few hours, are applied to a silicone tube or a tendon autograft used to bridge a nerve defect. FINDINGS: Dissociated cells from the ends of the severed nerve ends consist of more than 85% of Schwann cells. The remaining cells are ED1 stained macrophages. The cells survive transfer to a silicone tube or a tendon autograft which bridge the nerve defect. Axons do grow through such a graft filled with dissociated cells. CONCLUSION: Our novel model to obtain mainly Schwann cells by dissociation of the cells from the severed nerve ends after injury and add them to a matrix, thereby creating an artificial nerve graft, may be a new technique with potential clinical application in nerve reconstruction.