Polymers (Basel). 2023 Aug 7;15(15):3323. doi: 10.3390/polym15153323.
New tubular conduits have been developed for the regeneration of peripheral nerves and the repair of defects that are larger than 3 cm. The conduits consist of a combination of poly(L-lactide) nanofibers and chitosan composite fibers with chitin nanofibrils. In vitro studies were conducted to assess the biocompatibility of the conduits using human embryonic bone marrow stromal cells (FetMSCs). The studies revealed good adhesion and differentiation of the cells on the conduits just one day after cultivation. Furthermore, an in vivo study was carried out to evaluate motor-coordination disorders using the sciatic nerve functional index (SFI) assessment. The presence of chitosan monofibers and chitosan composite fibers with chitin nanofibrils in the conduit design increased the regeneration rate of the sciatic nerve, with an SFI value ranging from 76 to 83. The degree of recovery of nerve conduction was measured by the amplitude of M-response, which showed a 46% improvement. The conduit design imitates the oriented architecture of the nerve, facilitates electrical communication between the damaged nerve’s ends, and promotes the direction of nerve growth, thereby increasing the regeneration rate.