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Advances in Nerve Guidance Conduit-Based Therapeutics for Peripheral Nerve Repair

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journal contribution
posted on 30.03.2022, 13:58 authored by William A. Lackington, Alan J. Ryan, Fergal O'BrienFergal O'Brien

Peripheral nerve injuries have high incidence rates, limited treatment options and poor clinical outcomes, rendering a significant socioeconomic burden. For effective peripheral nerve repair, the gap or site of injury must be structurally bridged to promote correct reinnervation and functional regeneration. However, effective repair becomes progressively more difficult with larger gaps. Autologous nerve grafting remains the best clinical option for the repair of large gaps (20–80 mm) despite being associated with numerous limitations including permanent donor site morbidity, a lack of available tissue and the formation of neuromas. To meet the clinical demand of large gap repair and overcome these limitations, tissue engineering has led to the development of nerve guidance conduit-based therapeutics. This review focuses on the advances of nerve guidance conduit-based therapeutics in terms of their structural properties including biomimetic composition, permeability, architecture, and surface modifications. Associated biochemical properties, pertaining to the incorporation of cells and neurotrophic factors, are also reviewed. After reviewing the progress in the field, we conclude by presenting an outlook on their clinical translatability and the next generation of therapeutics.


This review has emanated from research supported from an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Fellowship (Government of Ireland), Grant Number GOIPG/2013/177, and Science Foundation Ireland, Grant Number SFI/12/RC/2278. Funding was also provided by the European Research Council (award number: 239685 (Seventh Framework Programme)).



This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see,

Published Citation

Lackington WA, Ryan A, O'Brien FJ. Advances in Nerve Guidance Conduit-Based Therapeutics for Peripheral Nerve Repair. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering. 2016 [in press]

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  • Amber (Advanced Material & Bioengineering Research) Centre
  • Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine
  • Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG)