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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2014 May;14(5):617-34. doi: 10.1517/14712598.2014.889676. Epub 2014 Mar 24.

The known-unknowns in spinal cord injury, with emphasis on cell-based therapies - a review with suggestive arenas for research.

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Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), The Mary-Yoshio Translational Hexagon (MYTH) , PB 1262, Chennai - 600034, Tamil Nadu , India +91 44 24732186 ; ,



In spite of extensive research, the progress toward a cure in spinal cord injury (SCI) is still elusive, which holds good for the cell- and stem cell-based therapies. We have critically analyzed seven known gray areas in SCI, indicating the specific arenas for research to improvise the outcome of cell-based therapies in SCI.


The seven, specific known gray areas in SCI analyzed are: i) the gap between animal models and human victims; ii) uncertainty about the time, route and dosage of cells applied; iii) source of the most efficacious cells for therapy; iv) inability to address the vascular compromise during SCI; v) lack of non-invasive methodologies to track the transplanted cells; vi) need for scaffolds to retain the cells at the site of injury; and vii) physical and chemical stimuli that might be required for synapses formation yielding functional neurons.


Further research on scaffolds for retaining the transplanted cells at the lesion, chemical and physical stimuli that may help neurons become functional, a meta-analysis of timing of the cell therapy, mode of application and larger clinical studies are essential to improve the outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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