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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 478103, 7 pages
Research Article

Localized and Sustained Delivery of Erythropoietin from PLGA Microspheres Promotes Functional Recovery and Nerve Regeneration in Peripheral Nerve Injury

1Department of Orthopedics, General Hospital of Chinese PLA, Beijing 100853, China
2Medical Department, Affiliated Hospital of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100048, China

Received 6 December 2014; Accepted 9 February 2015

Academic Editor: Ali I. Abdalla

Copyright © 2015 Wei Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Erythropoietin (EPO) has been demonstrated to exert neuroprotective effects on peripheral nerve injury recovery. Though daily intraperitoneal injection of EPO during a long period of time was effective, it was a tedious procedure. In addition, only limited amount of EPO could reach the injury sites by general administration, and free EPO is easily degraded in vivo. In this study, we encapsulated EPO in poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microspheres. Both in vitro and in vivo release assays showed that the EPO-PLGA microspheres allowed sustained release of EPO within a period of two weeks. After administration of such EPO-PLGA microspheres, the peripheral nerve injured rats had significantly better recovery compared with those which received daily intraperitoneal injection of EPO, empty PLGA microspheres, or saline treatments. This was supported by the functional, electrophysiological, and histological evaluations of the recovery done at week 8 postoperatively. We conclude that sustained delivery of EPO could be achieved by using EPO-PLGA microspheres, and such delivery method could further enhance the recovery function of EPO in nerve injury recovery.