The lack of natural nerve-tissue repair is one of the leading factors in a variety of diseases and traumatic injuries including spinal cord injury, brain-damage (due to injury or lack of blood flow), and peripheral nerve damage. Nerve tissue does not naturally heal well making the damage from these events permanent over a life-time. Stem-cells are generic precursor cells which can become any type of cell (i.e. muscle, fat, skin, nerve, bone, etc.). These hold promise to provide for repair of a wide variety of tissues, when cultured and handled under the right conditions that encourage these cells to become (differentiate) into the specific cell-type for that tissue. Recently, researchers at Harvard used PLGA-Polylysine (AI028) from PolySciTech (www.polyscitech.com) as part of development of research tool for investigating neural cell development from stem-cells. This research holds promise to enable further development of neural-tissue engineering. Read more: Thakor, Devang K., Lei Wang, Darcy Benedict, Serdar Kabatas, Ross D. Zafonte, and Yang D. Teng. "Establishing an Organotypic System for Investigating Multimodal Neural Repair Effects of Human Mesenchymal Stromal Stem Cells." Current protocols in stem cell biology (2018): e58. https://currentprotocols.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cpsc.58
“Abstract: Human mesenchymal stromal stem cells (hMSCs) hold regenerative medicine potential due to their availability, in vitro expansion readiness, and autologous feasibility. For neural repair, hMSCs show translational value in research on stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), and traumatic brain injury. It is pivotal to establish multimodal in vitro systems to investigate molecular mechanisms underlying neural actions of hMSCs. Here, we describe a platform protocol on how to set up organotypic co‐cultures of hMSCs (alone or polymer‐scaffolded) with explanted adult rat dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) to determine neural injury and recovery events for designing implants to counteract neurotrauma sequelae. We emphasize in vitro hMSC propagation, polymer scaffolding, hMSC stemness maintenance, hMSC‐DRG interaction profiling, and analytical formulas of neuroinflammation, trophic factor expression, DRG neurite outgrowth and tropic tracking, and in vivo verification of tailored implants in rodent models of SCI.”
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