A novel technique to isolate adult Schwann cells for an artificial nerve conduit

Takatsugu Komiyama, Yasushi Nakao, Yoshiaki Toyama, Hiroaki Asou, Charles A. Vacanti, Martin P. Vacanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


The use of an artificial nerve conduit containing viable Schwann cells (SCs) is one of the most promising approaches to repair nerve injuries. Obtaining a large number of viable SCs in a short period is demanded for the clinical use of this technique. However, the previous methods using mitogens are not clinically acceptable, and other methods that do not require mitogens, failed to isolate adult SCs effectively or required a long period of time. In this study, we have developed a novel technique to isolate SCs from adult rat peripheral nerves for an artificial nerve conduit without mitogens, which has produced a total number of 1.21×105 cells per mg, with an average purity of 93.0±0.58% at 21 days in vitro. The Bottenstein-Sato (BS) medium used in this study, had originally been developed for oligodendrocyte culture, but here it is shown to have an effect on SC proliferation and survival. By changing fetal bovine serum (FBS) concentrations from 0 to 10% serially, SCs could be isolated maximally from the predegenerated nerves while suppressing fibroblast overgrowth. The combination of this technique and the altered medium promoted the migration and proliferation of SCs selectively by utilizing the supporting cells of SCs instead of discarding them by changing the culture dishes and media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-200
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jan 30


  • Artificial nerve conduit
  • Bottenstein-Sato medium
  • Fetal bovine serum
  • Fibroblast
  • Macrophage
  • Schwann cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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