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Biomaterials. 2014 Aug;35(24):6248-58. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.04.020. Epub 2014 May 10.

Repair of the injured spinal cord by implantation of a synthetic degradable block copolymer in rat.

Author information

1
Aix-Marseille Université - CNRS, UMR 7287 «Institut des Sciences du Mouvement: Etienne-Jules MAREY» (ISM), Equipe «Plasticité des Systèmes Nerveux et Musculaire» (PSNM), Parc Scientifique et Technologique de Luminy, Faculté des Sciences du Sport de Marseille, CC910 - 163 Avenue de Luminy, F-13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France.
2
Aix-Marseille Université - CNRS, UMR 7273 «Institut de Chimie Radicalaire» (ICR), Equipe «Chimie Radicalaire Organique et Polymères de Spécialité» (CROPS), Case 542 - Avenue Escadrille Normandie-Niemen, F-13397 Marseille Cedex 20, France.
3
Aix-Marseille Université - INSERM, UMR_S 901 «Institut de Neurobiologie de la Méditerranée» (INMED), Equipe «Plasticité Développementale des Synapses GABAergique», BP13 - 163 Avenue de Luminy, F-13273 Marseille Cedex 09, France.
4
Aix-Marseille Université - CNRS, UMR 7288 «Institut de Biologie du Développement de Marseille» (IBDM), Plateforme «Microscopie Electronique», CC907 - 163 Avenue de Luminy, F-13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France.
5
Aix-Marseille Université - CNRS, UMR 7273 «Institut de Chimie Radicalaire» (ICR), Equipe «Chimie Radicalaire Organique et Polymères de Spécialité» (CROPS), Case 542 - Avenue Escadrille Normandie-Niemen, F-13397 Marseille Cedex 20, France. Electronic address: didier.gigmes@univ-amu.fr.
6
Aix-Marseille Université - CNRS, UMR 7287 «Institut des Sciences du Mouvement: Etienne-Jules MAREY» (ISM), Equipe «Plasticité des Systèmes Nerveux et Musculaire» (PSNM), Parc Scientifique et Technologique de Luminy, Faculté des Sciences du Sport de Marseille, CC910 - 163 Avenue de Luminy, F-13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France. Electronic address: patrick.decherchi@univ-amu.fr.

Abstract

The present study is designed to assess the properties of a new degradable PLA-b-PHEMA block copolymer hydrogel and its therapeutic effectiveness after implantation following a thoracic spinal cord hemisection on rats. Degradable characteristics and porous aspect of the scaffold are respectively analyzed by the evaluation of its mass loss and by electron microscopy. The biomaterial toxicity is measured through in vitro tests based on motoneuron survival and neurite growth on copolymer substrate. Functional measurements are assessed by the Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan (BBB) and the Dynamic Weight Bearing (DWB) tests during 8 weeks post-surgery. Histological analyses are achieved to evaluate the presence of blood vessels and axons, the density of the glial scar, the inflammatory reaction and the myelination at the lesion site and around it. The results indicate that the synthetic PLA-b-PHEMA block copolymer is a non-toxic and degradable biomaterial that provides support for regenerating axons and seems to limit scar tissue formation. Additionally, the implantation of the porous PLA-b-PHEMA scaffold enhances locomotor improvement. The observed functional recovery highlights the potential benefits of plain tissue engineering material, which can further be optimized by bioactive molecule functionalization or transplanted cell encapsulation.

KEYWORDS:

Axonal regrowth; Behavioral recovery; PLA-b-PHEMA; Spinal cord hemisection; Weight-bearing distribution

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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