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Neural tissue engineering of the CNS using hydrogels.

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Department of Materials Engineering, Division of Biological Engineering, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia.

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  • J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2009 Jan;88(1):304.


Current therapies have limited capacity to curtail disease progression or damage of the central nervous system (CNS) of adult mammals and successful regeneration following injury or disease does not occur. Regeneration of the CNS is limited by physical and chemical inhibitory barriers within the injured environment and the absence of positive cues that elicit and guide repair. Neural tissue engineering strategies focus on developing scaffolds that artificially generate favourable cellular microenvironments that attempt to tip the balance in favour of regeneration. Some recent advances using scaffolds to promote regeneration within the CNS, particularly in conjunction with stem cells, has generated promising results. This review focuses on hydrogel scaffolds which have been used extensively in neural tissue engineering applications and addresses the physical and chemical modifications of these materials to promote nerve regeneration.

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