Tissue engineered nerve constructs:where do we stand?
Article first published online: 1 MAY 2007
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Volume 10, Issue 2, pages 309–317, April 2006
How to Cite
Chalfoun, C. T., Wirth, G. A. and Evans, G. R. D. (2006), Tissue engineered nerve constructs:where do we stand?. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, 10: 309–317. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2006.tb00401.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAY 2007
- Article first published online: 1 MAY 2007
- Received: April 10, 2006; Accepted: May 18, 2006
- nerve tissue engineering;
- Schwann cell cultures;
- extracelluar matrices;
- growth factors;
Driven by enormous clinical need, interest in peripheral nerve regeneration has become a prime focus of research and area of growth within the field of tissue engineering. While using autologous donor nerves for bridging peripheral defects remains today's gold standard, it remains associated with high donor site morbidity and lack of full recovery. This dictates research towards the development of biomimetic constructs as alternatives. Based on current concepts, this review summarizes various approaches including different extracellular martices, scaffolds, and growth factors that have been shown to promote migration and proliferation of Schwann cells. Since neither of these concepts in isolation is enough, although each is gaining increased interest to promote nerve regeneration, various combinations will need to be identified to strike a harmonious balance. Additional factors that must be incorporated into tissue engineered nerve constructs are also unknown and warrant further research efforts. It seems that future directions may allow us to determine the “missing link”.