Introduction: In 1779, Fontana identified transverse and oblique bands along peripheral nerves. Subsequent studies pointed alternatively to endoneural or perineural components as the cause. Our aim was to clarify these conflicting findings.
Methods: Recoiling of the bands of Fontana was video-recorded in the rat sciatic nerve. Computer-assisted design (CAD) software was used to model the nerve by interference figures.
Results: In vivo microdissection showed distinctive, black-and-white, closely packed bands in the perineurium, which differed from the widely spaced, translucent, dark/pale gray, staggered bands in the endoneurium. CAD merging of these 2 patterns produced images resembling the bands observed in vivo.
Conclusions: Two repetitive structures with different characteristics, 1 in the perineurium and the other in the endoneurium, merge to give the appearance of these bands.
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