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Mol Cell Ther. 2014 Jul 1;2:19. doi: 10.1186/2052-8426-2-19. eCollection 2014.

Improvements in biomaterial matrices for neural precursor cell transplantation.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology & Neurosciences, Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, NJMS-Cancer Center, H-1226, 205 South Orange Ave., Newark, NJ 07103 USA ; Department of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102 USA.
2
Department of Neurology & Neurosciences, Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, NJMS-Cancer Center, H-1226, 205 South Orange Ave., Newark, NJ 07103 USA.
3
Department of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102 USA.
4
Department of Neurology & Neurosciences, Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, NJMS-Cancer Center, H-1226, 205 South Orange Ave., Newark, NJ 07103 USA ; Department of Neurological Surgery, Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103 USA.

Abstract

Progress is being made in developing neuroprotective strategies for traumatic brain injuries; however, there will never be a therapy that will fully preserve neurons that are injured from moderate to severe head injuries. Therefore, to restore neurological function, regenerative strategies will be required. Given the limited regenerative capacity of the resident neural precursors of the CNS, many investigators have evaluated the regenerative potential of transplanted precursors. Unfortunately, these precursors do not thrive when engrafted without a biomaterial scaffold. In this article we review the types of natural and synthetic materials that are being used in brain tissue engineering applications for traumatic brain injury and stroke. We also analyze modifications of the scaffolds including immobilizing drugs, growth factors and extracellular matrix molecules to improve CNS regeneration and functional recovery. We conclude with a discussion of some of the challenges that remain to be solved towards repairing and regenerating the brain.

KEYWORDS:

Biomaterials; Brain injury; CNS; Neural stem cells; Review; Scaffold; Stroke; TBI; Tissue engineering; Transplantation

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