Engineers from UCLA and Duke University have created an advanced bioengineered gel that successfully regenerates neurons and produces new blood vessels after a stroke.
Published in Nature Materials, the research showed that in mice with stroke-damaged brains, the delivery of this biomaterial was able to enter the stroke cavity and promote the formation of fully functional neuronal connections in tissues that were previously dead. The biomedical engineers who conducted the study explained that this novel tool “lays the groundwork…to repair diseased tissues”. The gel works by infusing with components in the body to promote blood vessel formation and stop the progression of inflammation which would ordinarily prevent new growth. After 16 weeks, neuronal networks in the mice were regenerated, and enhanced motor functions were displayed.
Dr Tatiana Segura who worked on the study explained that the research is promising as it prompts the use of a new and innovative approach in the therapy for stroke patients.
Image: UCLA Health – photomicrograph of tissue that has grown into the stroke cavity in the stroke-healing gel
This story is taken from the 25 May 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.