Polyhydroxyalkanoates, abbreviated as PHA, have been studied for medical applications due to their suitable mechanical properties, blood and tissue tolerance and in vivo biodegradability. As a new member of PHA family, terpolyester of 3-hydroxybutyrate, 3-hydroxyvalerate and 3-hydroxyhexanoate, abbreviated as PHBVHHx, was compared with polylactic acid (PLA), copolyester of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyhexanoate (PHBHHx) for their respective functions leading to differentiation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (hBMSC) into nerve cells. Results indicated that 3D scaffolds promoted the differentiation of hBMSC into nerve cells more intensively compared with 2D films. Smaller pore sizes of scaffolds increased differentiation of hBMSC into nerve cells, whereas decreased cell proliferation. PHBVHHx scaffolds with pore sizes of 30-60 microm could be used in nerve tissue engineering for treatment of nerve injury. The above results were supported by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and confocal microscopy observation on attachment and growth of hBMSCs on PLA, PHBHHx and PHBVHHx, and by CCK-8 evaluation of cell proliferation. In addition, expressions of nerve markers nestin, GFAP and beta-III tubulin of nerve cells differentiated from hBMSC grown in PHBVHHx scaffolds were confirmed by real-time PCR.