In this study, we introduce a technique for bridging large neural gaps, using an isogenic vein graft supported with isogenic bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC). In three groups a nerve defect of 20 mm was bridged with a vein graft. Our first experimental group comprized an empty venous graft, in group II the venous nerve graft was filled with saline where as in group III the venous nerve graft was filled with BMSC. The animals were tested for functional recovery up to 3 months post repair. Our results show that the BMSC filled venous graft resulted in significantly better regeneration of the nerve defect compared to controls, as confirmed by the functional recovery measured by somatosensory evoked potentials, toe spread, pin prick, and gastrocnemius muscle index. Conclusively, the results confirm that the vein graft supported with BMSC is associated with better functional nerve regeneration.

dx.doi.org/10.1002/micr.20818, hdl.handle.net/1765/28029
Microsurgery
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Nijhuis, T.H.J, Brzezicki, G, Klimczak, A, & Siemionow, M. (2010). Isogenic venous graft supported with bone marrow stromal cells as a natural conduit for bridging a 20 mm nerve gap. Microsurgery, 30(8), 639–645. doi:10.1002/micr.20818