Modification of hyaluronic acid for stereolithography 3D printing of hydrogel nerve conduits
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The peripheral nervous system transmits signals from the brain to the limbs and organs of the body. Peripheral nerve injuries (PNIs) resulting from trauma, illness or cancer affect approximately 1 million people in Europe and the US per annum. Such injuries may result in gaps/erosion of the nerve which limits or ceases function in that part of the body and are reported in 15-40% of all trauma cases worldwide (1). Of those who undergo surgery, only 25 % regain full function (2). Current therapeutic options such as autografts and allografts involve transplanting a donor nerve to the injured site. However, despite autografts being considered the gold standard for peripheral nerve repair (PNR), the chance of full functional recovery remains low. Since HLA was first demonstrated to enhance PNR in vivo over 21 years ago, there has been an increasing focus on the use of HLA in the development of nerve conduits for PNR.
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