Background: A novel biocompatible sealant composed of Alaska pollock- derived gelatin (ApGltn) has recently shown good burst strength and biocompatibility in a porcine aorta. The purpose of this study was to investigate the bonding strength and biocompatibility of the ApGltn sealant in transected digital nerves of fresh frozen cadavers and in the sciatic nerves of a rat model. Methods: Eighty human digital nerves of fresh frozen cadavers were transected for biomechanical traction testing. They were treated with four surgical interventions: (1) suture plus ApGltn sealant; (2) suture; (3) ApGltn sealant; and (4) fibrin sealant. Forty-three sciatic nerves of male Wistar rats were used for functional and histopathologic evaluation. They were treated with six surgical interventions: (1) suture plus ApGltn sealant; (2) suture; (3) ApGltn sealant; (4) fibrin sealant; (5) resection with a 5-mm gap (10 rats per group); and (6) sham operation (three rats). Macroscopic confirmation, muscle weight measurement, and histopathologic findings including G-ratio were examined 8 weeks after the procedure. Results: The maximum failure load of the ApGltn sealant was significantly higher than that of a fibrin sealant (0.22 ± 0.05 N versus 0.06 ± 0.04 N). The maximum failure load of the ApGltn sealant was significantly lower that of suture plus ApGltn sealant (1.37 N) and suture (1.27 N). Functional evaluation and histologic examination showed that sciatic nerves repaired with ApGltn sealant showed similar nerve recovery compared to repair with the suture and fibrin sealant. Conclusion: The ApGltn sealant showed higher bonding strength and equal effect of nerve regeneration when compared with the fibrin sealant.
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