Arch Hand Microsurg.  2019 Sep;24(3):273-284. 10.12790/ahm.2019.24.3.273.

The Effect of Cryopreservation of Allograft Nerve on the Recovery of Motor Function

  • 1Department of Kinesiology, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 3Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 4Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.


Peripheral nerve allograft can be an acceptable alternative, but it has not yet become clinically useful because of immune response to foreign tissue. With significant advances in the research and tissue engineering, various alternatives to nerve autograft including synthetic nerve conduit and decellularization have been used, but their therapeutic effects were not satisfactory. The purpose of this study was to confirm the effectiveness of cryopreservation of the allograft nerve as a useful nerve-graft substitute.
A total of 39 Sprague-Dawley rats (recipient) and 13 Lewis rats (donor) weighing 200 g to 300 g were used in this study. Animals were randomly divided 3 groups and received ipsilateral sciatic nerve graft: autograft (group 1), allograft (group 2), and cryopreserved nerve allograft (group 3), Nerve regeneration was evaluated at sixteen weeks on the basis of the animal weight, ankle contracture angle, compound muscle action potential, isometric tetanic muscle force, wet muscle weight of the tibialis anterior muscle, and the histomorphometry.
Cryopreserved nerve allograft (group 3) showed superior motor recovery than allograft group (group 2), which was comparable to those of autograft (group 1).
Pretreatment of nerve allograft using cryopreservation decreased rejection caused by immune response of the donor and improved motor nerve recovery. In clinical perspective, use of a pretreated nerve allograft can be an alternative to the autograft.


Nerve; Allograft; Autograft; Cryopreservation; Decellularizations

MeSH Terms

Action Potentials
Nerve Regeneration
Peripheral Nerves
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Sciatic Nerve
Therapeutic Uses
Tissue Donors
Tissue Engineering
Therapeutic Uses


  • Fig. 1. Experimental procedure.

  • Fig. 2. Measurement of the ankle contracture angle.

  • Fig. 3. Compound muscle action pot.

  • Fig. 4. (A) Isometric tetanic muscle force. (B) Data output from LabVIEW.

  • Fig. 5. Tibialis anterior muscle of nonoperative side (superior), operative side (inferior).

  • Fig. 6. Toluidine blue stain.

  • Fig. 7. Comparison of weight gain (%). *p<0.05.

  • Fig. 8. Comparison of the recovery rate of the ankle contracture angle compared to nonoperative side.

  • Fig. 9. Comparison of the rate of compound muscle action potential (CMAP) compared to nonoperative side. *p<0.05.

  • Fig. 10. Comparison of the rate of isometric tetanic muscle force compared to nonoperative side. *p<0.05.

  • Fig. 11. Comparison of the histomorphometry. *p<0.05.

  • Fig. 12. Comparison of the rate of the tibialis anterior muscle weight compared to nonoperative side. *p<0.05.


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