There is considerable evidence that peripheral nerves have the potential to regenerate in an appropriate microenvironment. In this study, the process of nerve regeneration through a fibrin scaffold was examined. 45 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into one control, Autograft (Auto) and two experimental groups, Epineurum (Epi) and Fibrin scaffold (Fib). Right sciatic nerve was exposed of which 5 mm was cut. The nerve defect was then bridged with a nerve autograft, empty epineurium and fibrin scaffold in the corresponding groups. All animals were examined one, three and five weeks after the operation to evaluate nerve regeneration and functional recovery employing light microscopy and walking track analysis, respectively. The gastrocnemius muscle contractility was also examined at 35th day post surgery in all groups using electromyography (EMG). Histological, functional evaluation and EMG evidences show that the nerve regeneration in both groups Auto and Fib were statistically equivalent and superior to that of Epi group (P<0.01). The present findings indicate that a fibrin scaffold enhances nerve regeneration as effective as a nerve autograft.
Key words: Sciatic nerve, fibrin scaffold, electromyography, autograft.
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