2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Bioactive Aligned Nanofibers for Nerve Regeneration

S. Patel and S. Li
University of California, Berkeley, US

nanofiber, nerve, tissue, engineering, nanopatterning

We have developed a novel bioactive aligned nanofiber graft that combines nanopatterning and biochemical cues to direct and enhance nerve regeneration. The graft is fabricated using electrospinning and is composed entirely of individually aligned poly(L-lactide) nanoscale fibers. The biochemical factors basic fibroblast growth factor and Laminin are tethered noncovalently to the nanofibers to provide chemical growth cues for extending axons. To evaluate the performance of the graft, nerve tissue harvested from rats was cultured ex vivo on the nanofiber scaffolds for 5 days. After 5d culture, the extension of axons onto the nanofibers from the neurons within the nerve tissue was visualized via fluorescence microscopy and quantified. On unaligned nanofiber scaffolds, no axon extension was observed from the nerve tissue. In contrast, aligned nanofibers not only induced axon extension from the nerve tissue but the extending axons were aligned parallel to the nanofiber orientation. The bioactive aligned nanofibers further enhanced axon extension 5-fold over untreated aligned nanofibers. Our results indicate that the bioactive aligned nanofiber graft can serve as a viable treatment option for regenerating nerves damaged by severe traumatic injuries. Such injuries result in permanent sensory and motor paralysis unless surgically treated with a graft.

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Nanotech 2007 Conference Program Abstract


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