Advanced Search
Current and Breaking News for Professionals, Consumers and Media

Research Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Hydrogel Scaffold Helps Repair Injured Spinal Cord

By Staff Editor
Jul 20, 2016 - 9:46:47 AM

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Ezine
For Email Marketing you can trust

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

( - Spinal cord injuries can be devastating because the damaged nerves do not regenerate on their own, which often leads to permanent impairment. Scientists have been investigating methods to encourage regrowth, but so far there are no treatments that reliably restore nerve function.

Now, a group reports in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering a strategy that regrows nerve cells and restores motor function in rats with spinal cord injuries. The current thinking is that if nerves could be encouraged to regrow past the site of a spinal cord injury, permanent disability could be prevented, according to the researchers. One possible strategy involves implanting biomaterial scaffolds at the injury site that could support new tissue growth.

However, these scaffolds often fail to direct nerve regrowth past the location of the injury because it is difficult to control the direction of nerve growth, and scars can form around the implant, blocking the nerves. Thus, Sing Yian Chew and colleagues set out to design a new type of scaffold that could help nerve cells regrow and restore function. The group combined a hydrogel with aligned nanofibers to create a scaffold with a 3-D structure that can be implanted at the injury site. They also tested whether adding neurotrophin-3, a protein that encourages nerve growth, to the scaffold would help. After three months in the spinal cords of injured rats, the scaffolds - especially those laced with neurotrophin-3 - had successfully encouraged nerve growth without inciting inflammation or scarring. Rats with the neurotrophin-3 scaffolds regained more motor function than those without treatment. The researchers say that these findings show that their scaffold design could someday serve as a guide for nerve regeneration techniques to treat spinal cord injuries in humans.

The researchers acknowledge funding from the National Research Foundation Singapore under its Cooperative Basic Research Grant administered by Singapore Ministry of Health's National Medical Research Council and the Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund.

For advertising/promo please contact Mike McCurdy at [email protected] or 877-634-9180

Top of Page

Latest Headlines

+ Breaking Research That Could Greatly Improve Transgender Healthcare
+ Pioneering New Gambling Harms Research Centre Launched
+ Checklist for Staying Healthy Overseas
+ Researcher Aims to Protect and Regenerate Corals Through Coral Genomics with $500K NSF Grant and Award-Winning Video
+ Cheers - Five More Years
+ Identify Novel Approach to Preventing Seizures
+ Organ Donation Facts
+ Keeping Web-like NETs from Clogging Blood Vessels Improves Stroke Outcomes
+ Consider Becoming an Organ Donor
+ Tool for Predicting the Future

Contact Us | Job Listings | Help | Site Map | About Us
Advertising Information | HND Press Release | Submit Information | Disclaimer

Site hosted by Sanchez Productions