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Rutgers researchers advance stem cell therapy with biodegradable scaffold

05.11.2018

New technology is aimed at central nervous system diseases and injuries

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.


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.

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 stem cell transplantation and neural tissue engineering. Stem cell therapy leads to stem cells 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.

###

The study included researchers from Rutgers and Kyung Hee University in South Korea.

Media Contact

Todd Bates
todd.bates@rutgers.edu
848-932-0550

 @RutgersU

http://www.rutgers.edu 

Todd Bates | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05599-2

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