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A magnetically responsive nanocomposite scaffold combined with Schwann cells promotes sciatic nerve regeneration upon exposure to magnetic field

Authors Liu ZY, Zhu S, Liu L, Ge J, Huang LL, Sun Z, Zeng W, Huang JH, Luo ZJ

Received 23 June 2017

Accepted for publication 17 September 2017

Published 24 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 7815—7832


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Zhongyang Liu,1,* Shu Zhu,1,* Liang Liu,2,* Jun Ge,3,4,* Liangliang Huang,1 Zhen Sun,1 Wen Zeng,5 Jinghui Huang,1 Zhuojing Luo1

1Department of Orthopedics, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 2Department of Orthopedics, No 161 Hospital of PLA, Wuhan, Hubei, 3Department of Orthopedics, No 323 Hospital of PLA, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 4Department of Anatomy, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 5Department of Neurosurgery, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Peripheral nerve repair is still challenging for surgeons. Autologous nerve transplantation is the acknowledged therapy; however, its application is limited by the scarcity of available donor nerves, donor area morbidity, and neuroma formation. Biomaterials for engineering artificial nerves, particularly materials combined with supportive cells, display remarkable promising prospects. Schwann cells (SCs) are the absorbing seeding cells in peripheral nerve engineering repair; however, the attenuated biologic activity restricts their application. In this study, a magnetic nanocomposite scaffold fabricated from magnetic nanoparticles and a biodegradable chitosan–glycerophosphate polymer was made. Its structure was evaluated and characterized. The combined effects of magnetic scaffold (MG) with an applied magnetic field (MF) on the viability of SCs and peripheral nerve injury repair were investigated. The magnetic nanocomposite scaffold showed tunable magnetization and degradation rate. The MGs synergized with the applied MF to enhance the viability of SCs after transplantation. Furthermore, nerve regeneration and functional recovery were promoted by the synergism of SCs-loaded MGs and MF. Based on the current findings, the combined application of MGs and SCs with applied MF is a promising therapy for the engineering of peripheral nerve regeneration.

Keywords: peripheral nerve repair, magnetic nanoparticle, nanocomposite, magnetic field, Schwann cell, functional recovery

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