© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery 35:300-308, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biosynthetic guides can be an alternative to nerve grafts for reconstructing severely injured peripheral nerves. The aim of this study was to evaluate the regenerative capability of chitosan tubes to bridge critical nerve gaps (15 mm long) in the rat sciatic nerve compared with silicone (SIL) tubes and nerve autografts (AGs). A total of 28 Wistar Hannover rats were randomly distributed into four groups (n = 7 each), in which the nerve was repaired by SIL tube, chitosan guides of low (∼2%, DAI) and medium (∼5%, DAII) degree of acetylation, and AG. Electrophysiological and algesimetry tests were performed serially along 4 months follow-up, and histomorphometric analysis was performed at the end of the study. Both groups with chitosan tubes showed similar degree of functional recovery, and similar number of myelinated nerve fibers at mid tube after 4 months of implantation. The results with chitosan tubes were significantly better compared to SIL tubes (P < 0.01), but lower than with AG (P < 0.01). In contrast to AG, in which all the rats had effective regeneration and target reinnervation, chitosan tubes from DAI and DAII achieved 43 and 57% success, respectively, whereas regeneration failed in all the animals repaired with SIL tubes. This study suggests that chitosan guides are promising conduits to construct artificial nerve grafts.