Publication details

Authors: Vennemeyer, J. J.; Hopkins, T.; Hershcovitch, M.; Little, K. D.; Hagen, M. C.; Minteer, D.; Hom, D. B.; Marra, K.; Pixley, S. K. 
Title: Initial observations on using magnesium metal in peripheral nerve repair 
Type: Journal Article 
Publisher: Journal of Biomaterials Applications 
Year: 2015 
Volume: 29 
Start Page: 1145 
End Page: 1154 
DOI: 10.1177/0885328214553135 
Abstract: Biodegradable magnesium metal filaments placed inside biodegradable nerve conduits might provide the physical guidance support needed to improve the rate and extent of regeneration of peripheral nerves across injury gaps. In this study, we examined basic issues of magnesium metal resorption and biocompatibility by repairing sub-critical size gap injuries (6mm) in one sciatic nerve of 24 adult male Lewis rats. Separated nerve stumps were connected with poly(caprolactone) nerve conduits, with and without magnesium filaments (0.25mm diameter, 10mm length), with two different conduit filler substances (saline and keratin hydrogel). At 6 weeks after implantation, magnesium degradation was examined by micro-computed tomography and histological analyses. Magnesium degradation was significantly greater when the conduits were filled with an acidic keratin hydrogel than with saline (p<0.05). But magnesium filaments in some animals remained intact for 6 weeks. Using histological and immunocytochemical analyses, good biocompatibility of the magnesium implants was observed at 6 weeks, as shown by good development of regenerating nerve mini-fascicles and only mild inflammation in tissues even after complete degradation of the magnesium. Nerve regeneration was not interrupted by complete magnesium degradation. An initial functional evaluation, determination of size recovery of the gastrocnemius muscle, showed a slight improvement due to magnesium with the saline but not the keratin filler, compared with respective control conduits without magnesium. These results suggest that magnesium filament implants have the potential to improve repair of injured peripheral nerve defects in this rodent model. 
Keywords: peripheral nerve repair, nerve regeneration, magnesium, biodegradable metal, micro-computed tomography, rat, sciatic nerve, magnesium, in-vitro, regeneration, biomaterials, injury, challenges, conduits, delivery, rabbits, model, tubes