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Scientists create biodegradable scaffold

Scientists have created a tiny, biodegradable scaffold to transplant stem cells and deliver drugs.

It is hoped that the development may help treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, ageing brain degeneration and spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.

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.

Scientists from Rutgers University designed bio-scaffolds that mimic natural tissue and had good results in test tubes and mice, according to a study.

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.

Senior author KiBum Lee said: “It’s been a major challenge to develop a reliable therapeutic method for treating central nervous system diseases and injuries.

“Our enhanced stem cell transplantation approach is an innovative potential solution.”

The researchers, who have been working with neuroscientists and clinicians, plan to test the nano-scaffolds in larger animals and eventually move to clinical trials for treating spinal cord injury.

Picture credit | iStock

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