Stem cell salvage of injured peripheral nerve

Nadia Grimoldi, Federica Colleoni, Francesca Tiberio, Ignazio G. Vetrano, Alberto Cappellari, Antonella Costa, Marzia Belicchi, Paola Razini, Rosaria Giordano, Diego Spagnoli, Mauro Pluderi, Stefano Gatti, Michela Morbin, Sergio M. Gaini, Paolo Rebulla, Nereo Bresolin, Yvan Torrente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We previously developed a collagen tube filled with autologous skin-derived stem cells (SDSCs) for bridging long rat sciatic nerve gaps. Here we present a case report describing a compassionate use of this graft for repairing the polyinjured motor and sensory nerves of the upper arms of a patient. Preclinical assessment was performed with collagen/SDSC implantation in rats after sectioning the sciatic nerve. For the patient, during the 3-year follow-up period, functional recovery of injured median and ulnar nerves was assessed by pinch gauge test and static two-point discrimination and touch test with monofilaments, along with electrophysiological and MRI examinations. Preclinical experiments in rats revealed rescue of sciatic nerve and no side effects of patientderived SDSC transplantation (30 and 180 days of treatment). In the patient treatment, motor and sensory functions of the median nerve demonstrated ongoing recovery postimplantation during the follow-up period. The results indicate that the collagen/SDSC artificial nerve graft could be used for surgical repair of larger defects in major lesions of peripheral nerves, increasing patient quality of life by saving the upper arms from amputation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-222
Number of pages10
JournalCell Transplantation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Collagen tube
  • Nerve graft
  • Sciatic nerve
  • Skin-derived stem cells (SDSCs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Grimoldi, N., Colleoni, F., Tiberio, F., Vetrano, I. G., Cappellari, A., Costa, A., Belicchi, M., Razini, P., Giordano, R., Spagnoli, D., Pluderi, M., Gatti, S., Morbin, M., Gaini, S. M., Rebulla, P., Bresolin, N., & Torrente, Y. (2015). Stem cell salvage of injured peripheral nerve. Cell Transplantation, 24(2), 213-222.