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Peripheral nerve conduits: Technology update

Peripheral nerve injury is a worldwide clinical problem which could lead to loss of neuronal communication along sensory and motor nerves between the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral organs and impairs the quality of life of a patient. The primary requirement for the treatment of complete lesions is a tension-free, end-to-end repair. When end-to-end repair is not possible, peripheral nerve grafts or nerve conduits are used. The limited availability of autografts, and drawbacks of the allografts and xenografts like immunological reactions, forced the researchers to investigate and develop alternative approaches, mainly nerve conduits. In this review, recent information on the various types of conduit materials (made of biological and synthetic polymers) and designs (tubular, fibrous, and matrix type) are being presented.