Improving sciatic nerve regeneration by using alginate/chitosan hydrogel containing berberine.
Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2020 Oct 9. Epub 2020 Oct 9. PMID: 33034886
Peripheral nerve injuries are the common results of trauma that lead to pain and handicap in patients. Berberine due to its properties like antibiotic, immunostimulant, antitumor, antimotility, and positive effect on neurological disorders can be used to enhance peripheral nerve injuries. In this study, alginate/chitosan hydrogel containing different concentrations of berberine (0, 0.1, 1, 10% (w/v)) was created, evaluated, and applied as a scaffold for sciatic nerve regeneration. To prepare hydrogel, sodium alginate was dissolved in distilled water and cross-linked with CaCl2, and chitosan was dissolved in acetic acid and cross-linked withβ-glycerol phosphate. The structure, release, swelling, weight loss, cytocompatibility, and hemocompatibility of the prepared hydrogels were assessed. The sciatic nerve crush was created in rats and fabricated hydrogels were injected, and functional analysis was used to evaluate their effectiveness. The results of physical characterization of the hydrogel indicated that the initial average pore size was about 39 μm and about 70% of the main weight of hydrogels was lost after incubation for 21 days and hemocompatibility of hydrogels was also confirmed. The MTT assay showed the cytocompatiblity of hydrogels and also indicated that berberine has dose-dependence effect on cell proliferation. The in vivo results showed the positive effect of berberine especially the hydrogel contained 1% of berberine on regeneration of sciatic nerve. Based on this study, Alg/Chit hydrogel can be applied asa treatment to heal peripheral nerve injuries. Graphical abstract.