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Biofabrication of nerve guidance conduits

Grant number: 21/02727-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2021
Effective date (End): October 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Cytology and Cell Biology
Principal Investigator:Alexandre Leite Rodrigues de Oliveira
Grantee:Diego Noé Rodríguez Sánchez
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/05006-0 - Sensorimotor recovery following spinal root axotomy: use of different experimental approaches, AP.TEM


The regeneration and functional recovery of Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) after injury is highly variable often leading to persistence of motor and sensorial deficits. Nerve Guidance Channels (NGCs) biocompatible and biodegradable with capacity of neurotrophic factors release, could have therapeutic potential in the PNS severe traumatic injuries. New technologies such as three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting allow the biofabrication of nervous constructs that can be functionalized with neurotrophic factors (FNs) to optimize the results. 3D bioprinting shows advantages such as excellent cost-benefit, rapid repeatability and scalability. In this study, 3D bioprinting is going to be used to develop NGCs from polycaprolactone (PCL) and gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) bioink, incorporated with fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) (PCL/GelMA/FGF-2 bioink), which can allow local and sustained FGF-2 release, a crucial factor for nervous system repair and restoration. In vitro, the NGCs ultraestructure, FGF-2 release and degradability are going to be analyzed. The interaction of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) on NGC surface and NFs gene expression are going to evaluate. In vivo, functional and electrophysiological recovery after sciatic nerve injury in rats and repair using NGC are going to be analyzed. Finally, the morphometry and reactivity and proliferation of Schwann Cells (CS) analysis in the regenerated nerve are going to be performed. The proposed biofabrication, could accelerate and optimize nerve regeneration by local and sustained FGF-2 in the injured microenvironment, being an alternative to the nerve autograft technique. The results aim at a translational potential for the treatment of SNP injuries. (AU)

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