The therapeutic effect of three polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) membranes loaded with electrically conductive materials – carbon nanotubes (PVA-CNTs) and polypyrrole (PVA-PPy) – were tested in vivo for neuro-muscular regeneration after an axonotmesis injury in the rat sciatic nerve. At week-12, a better recovery to normal gait pattern of the PVA-CNTs and PVA-PPy treated groups was observed. Morphometrical analysis demonstrated that PVA-CNTs group presented higher myelin thickness and lower g-ratio. The tibialis anterior muscle, in the PVA-PPy and PVA-CNTs groups showed an increase of average fiber size area. In conclusion, the membranes of PVA-CNTs and PVA-PPy are biocompatible and have electrical conductivity.

Authors: Ribeiro J, Caseiro AR, Pereira T, Armada-da-Silva PA, Pires I, Prada J, Amorim I, Leal Reis I, Amado S, Santos JD, Bompasso S, Raimondo S, Varejão ASP, Geuna S, Luís AL, Maurício AC

Published in: Journal of Biomedical Materials Research – Part A

doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35998