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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 175629, 12 pages
Research Article

Low-Level Laser-Accelerated Peripheral Nerve Regeneration within a Reinforced Nerve Conduit across a Large Gap of the Transected Sciatic Nerve in Rats

1Department of Neurosurgery, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung 40705, Taiwan
2Department of Medicine, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei 114, Taiwan
3Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei 114, Taiwan
4Department of Physical Therapy, Hungkuang University, Taichung 43302, Taiwan
5Department of Bioscience Technology, Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan 71101, Taiwan
6Graduate Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taichung 40601, Taiwan
7Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taichung 40601, Taiwan

Received 27 December 2012; Revised 14 March 2013; Accepted 10 April 2013

Academic Editor: Cynthia R. Long

Copyright © 2013 Chiung-Chyi Shen 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.


This study proposed a novel combination of neural regeneration techniques for the repair of damaged peripheral nerves. A biodegradable nerve conduit containing genipin-cross-linked gelatin was annexed using beta-tricalcium phosphate (TCP) ceramic particles (genipin-gelatin-TCP, GGT) to bridge the transection of a 15 mm sciatic nerve in rats. Two trigger points were irradiated transcutaneously using 660 nm of gallium-aluminum arsenide phosphide (GaAlAsP) via laser diodes for 2 min daily over 10 consecutive days. Walking track analysis showed a significant improvement in sciatic functional index (SFI) and pronounced improvement in the toe spreading ability of rats undergoing laser stimulation. Electrophysiological measurements (peak amplitude and area) illustrated by compound muscle action potential (CMAP) curves demonstrated that laser stimulation significantly improved nerve function and reduced muscular atrophy. Histomorphometric assessments revealed that laser stimulation accelerated nerve regeneration over a larger area of neural tissue, resulting in axons of greater diameter and myelin sheaths of greater thickness than that observed in rats treated with nerve conduits alone. Motor function, electrophysiological reactions, muscular reinnervation, and histomorphometric assessments all demonstrate that the proposed therapy accelerated the repair of transected peripheral nerves bridged using a GGT nerve conduit.