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Methods Enzymol. 2012;508:177-90. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-391860-4.00009-4.

Peptide nanofiber scaffold for brain tissue reconstruction.

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Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and neurosurgical procedures commonly result in tissue loss within the cerebral parenchyma. Regeneration is limited by the anatomical tissue gaps and the hostile microenvironment created by the trauma. A search for novel biomaterials that are neuroprotective and conducive to healing and regeneration is needed. One approach is with the use of RADA16-I, a type I self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold. We review the current evidence on the use of RADA16-I and describe our experience with its use in rodent models of surgical brain injury. A cortical resection model is used to mimic the significant amount of tissue loss seen in TBI and clinical surgery. The use of RADA16-I as a carrier of transplantable neuroprogenitor cells and a potential topical hemostatic agent is described. RADA16-I can bridge tissue gaps and reduce surrounding reactive changes. Embedment of transplantable cells within the tissue scaffold is feasible. RADA16-I achieves hemostasis almost instantaneously and is associated with less tissue damage when compared with other conventional methods. There are, however, certain limitations with the application of RADA16-I mainly due to its intrinsically low pH and need for prebuffering. The use of peptide nanofiber scaffold is a promising approach for the reconstruction of the injured brain. New experimental models and research methods are required to fully explore its potential in minimizing secondary brain injuries and to promote neuronal regeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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