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Assessment of 27 ring sieve electrodes

Polyimide sieve electrodes were implanted between the severed ends of the sciatic nerve in rats. The degree of axonal regeneration through the electrode was examined by physiological and histological methods from 2 to 12 months postimplantation. Regeneration was successful in all animals implanted. The number of regenerated myelinated fibers increased from 2 to 6 months, when it was similar to control values.
The majority of myelinated fibers crossing the via holes and regenerated through the distal nerve had a normal appearance.

However, in a few cases decline of target reinnervation and loss of regenerated nerve fibers was found from 6 to 12 months postimplantation. Motor axons labeled by ChAT immunoreactivity regenerated scattered within minifascicles, although they were found at higher density at the periphery of the regenerated nerve. The number of ChAT-positive axons was markedly lower distally than proximally to the sieve electrode.

Retrograde tracing studies indicate that the sieve electrode is not an obstacle for the regrowth of sensory fibers, but partially hinders motor fibers regeneration. They also suggest that fine fibers may be at advantage over large ones to regenerate through the regenerative electrode.

Reported by

Grup de Neuroplasticitat i Regeneracio, Dept. Biologia Cel.lular, Fisiologia i Immunologia, Institut de Neurociencies, Edif. M
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