Researchers advance stem cell therapy with biodegradable scaffold

November 5, 2018, Rutgers University
A biodegradable inorganic nano-scaffold, consisting of stem cells, proteins and drugs, for advanced stem cell therapy and drug delivery. Credit: KiBum Lee, Letao Yang and Sy-Tsong Dean Chueng.

Rutgers scientists have created a tiny, biodegradable scaffold to transplant stem cells and deliver drugs, which may help treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, aging brain degeneration, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

Stem cell transplantation, which shows promise as a treatment for central nervous system diseases, has been hampered by low cell survival rates, incomplete differentiation of cells and limited growth of neural connections.

So, Rutgers scientists designed bio-scaffolds that mimic natural tissue and got good results in test tubes and mice, according to a study in Nature Communications. These nano-size scaffolds hold promise for advanced and neural tissue engineering. Stem cell therapy leads to becoming neurons and can restore neural circuits.

"It's been a major challenge to develop a reliable therapeutic method for treating central nervous system diseases and injuries," said study senior author KiBum Lee, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. "Our enhanced stem cell transplantation approach is an innovative potential solution."

The researchers, in cooperation with neuroscientists and clinicians, plan to test the nano-scaffolds in larger animals and eventually move to clinical trials for treating spinal cord injury. The scaffold-based technology also shows promise for regenerative medicine.

Explore further: University of Minnesota reports breakthrough in 3-D printing for spinal cord repair

More information: Letao Yang et al, A biodegradable hybrid inorganic nanoscaffold for advanced stem cell therapy, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05599-2

Related Stories

Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury

September 25, 2012

Stem cells are considered promising agents for the recovery of spinal cord injuries. European scientists explore their abilities and plan future therapeutic strategies.

Stem cells may hold promise for Lou Gehrig's disease

January 9, 2013

Apparent stem cell transplant success in mice may hold promise for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease. The results of the study were released today and will be presented at the American ...

Using donor stem cells to treat spinal cord injury

August 28, 2017

A new study in mice published in The Journal of Neuroscience details a potential therapeutic strategy that uses stem cells to promote recovery of motor activity after spinal cord injury.

Recommended for you

3-D culturing hepatocytes on a liver-on-a-chip device

January 17, 2019

Liver-on-a-chip cell culture devices are attractive biomimetic models in drug discovery, toxicology and tissue engineering research. To maintain specific liver cell functions on a chip in the lab, adequate cell types and ...

This computer program makes pharma patents airtight

January 17, 2019

Routes to making life-saving medications and other pharmaceutical compounds are among the most carefully protected trade secrets in global industry. Building on recent work programming computers to identify synthetic pathways ...

Cultivating 4-D tissues—the self-curving cornea

January 17, 2019

Scientists at Newcastle University have developed a biological system which lets cells form a desired shape by moulding their surrounding material—in the first instance creating a self-curving cornea.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.