Bio-Injectable that Promotes Neuron, Blood Vessels Growth in Damaged Brains
The lack of an effective medical therapy that promotes long-term recovery after stroke represents a substantial clinical burden, and so establishes a need for a medical treatment out-side the confines of conventional therapies.
“We tested this in laboratory mice to determine if it would repair the brain and lead to recovery in a model of stroke,” said Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael, professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “The study indicated that new brain tissue can be regenerated in what was previously just an inactive brain scar after stroke.”
Unlike the liver, skin along with a few other organs, the brain doesn’t regenerate new links, blood vessels or vessels structures after it’s damaged. Rather, dead brain cells are consumed, which leaves a cavity devoid of blood vessels, neurons or axons.
In order to determine if healthy tissue surrounding the cavity can be coaxed into recovering the stroke injury, Segura engineered a hydrogel that, when injected into the cavity, thickens to make a scaffolding to which blood vessels and nerves can develop.
The gel is infused with medicines that stimulate blood vessel development and curb inflammation, because inflammation leads to scars and hastens functional tissue from regrowing. After 16 weeks, the stroke plaques comprised regenerated brain tissue, for example new sensory connections — an outcome that hadn’t been seen previously.
The mice’s capacity to reach for meals enhanced, an indication of enhanced motor behaviour, even though the precise mechanism for the progress was not very clear.
“The new axons could actually be working,” Segura said. “Or the new tissue could be improving the performance of the surrounding, unharmed brain tissue.” The gel was eventually absorbed by the body, leaving behind only new tissue.
Next, the team intends to delve deeper into whether brain tissue can be regenerated in mice long after the stroke injury.