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Comparing Processed Nerve Allografts and Assessing Their Capacity to Retain and
Release Nerve Growth Factor.
Pollins AC, Boyer RB, Nussenbaum M, Thayer WP
Submitted Externally on 7/31/2018
Annals of plastic surgery
Volume : Pages
81 : 198 - 202
Peripheral nerve gap injuries continue to present a clinical challenge to
today's surgeons. One method of surgical repair, implantation of acellular
allografts, has been developed with the aim of bridging the gap with a cadaveric
graft after removal of its cellular components, thereby accelerating axonal
regeneration and eliminating the need for immunosuppression in recipient
patients. Although decellularizing allografts reduces rates of graft rejection,
the same chemical processing modifies the neural microenvironment, removing
neutrotrophic factors and modifying the complex extracellular matrix. In this
study, we explore 3 common methods for producing acellular allografts.
Extracellular matrix content remaining after processing was investigated and was
found to be highly dependent on the decellularization method. In addition,
scanning electron micrographs were obtained to evaluate the structural effects
of the decellularization methods. Though the content and structure of these
processed allografts will contribute to their effectiveness as nerve gap repair
candidates, we demonstrate that it also affects their capacity to be
supplemented/preloaded with the prototypical neurotrophin, nerve growth factor
(NGF), essential to neuronal regeneration. Although all allografts had some
capacity for retaining NGF in the first 24 hours, only Sondell-processed grafts
retained NGF over the entire experimental period of 21 days. Future studies will
include validating these processed and supplemented allografts as viable
alternatives to traditional autograft nerve gap repair.
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