New biomaterials can promote regeneration of brain tissue after injury and disease damage
3 December 2012
Research at the Universitat Politècnica de València has shown that a biocompatible material implanted in the brain is colonized within two months by neural cells and irrigated by new blood vessels. This allows the generation, within these structures, of new neurons and glia, capable of repairing injured brain tissue caused by trauma, stroke or neurodegenerative disease, among other causes.
The synthetic structures used in this study are made with a porous and biocompatible polymeric material called acrylate copolymer. In the first phase of the project, the structures have been studied in vitro by implanting them into neural tissue, and subsequently also in vivo, when implanted in two areas of the adult rat brain: the cerebral cortex and the subventricular zone, the most important source of generation of adult neural stem cells.
The study has confirmed the high biocompatibility of polymeric materials, such as acrylate copolymer, with brain tissue and opens new possibilities of the effectiveness of the implementation of these structures in the brain, seeking optimum location for developing regenerative strategies of the central nervous system.
Furthermore, the results are particularly relevant when one considers that in the adult brain neuroregeneration capacity is more limited than in younger individuals and that the main impediment for this is the lack of revascularization of damaged tissue, something that the biomaterial studied has shown to favour.
Martínez-Ramos C, Vallés-Lluch A, Verdugo JMG, Ribelles JLG, Barcia JA, Orts AB, López JMS, Pradas MM. 2012. Channeled scaffolds implanted in adult rat brain. J Biomed Mater Res Part A 2012:100A:3276–3286. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbm.a.34273/abstract