The combination of induced pluripotent stem cells and bioscaffolds holds promise for spinal cord regeneration
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DeBrot A, Yao L. The combination of induced pluripotent stem cells and bioscaffolds holds promise for spinal cord regeneration. Neural Regen Res 2018;13:1677-84
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are debilitating conditions for which no effective treatment currently exists. The damage of neural tissue causes disruption of neural tracts and neuron loss in the spinal cord. Stem cell replacement offers a solution for SCI treatment by providing a source of therapeutic cells for neural function restoration. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been investigated as a potential type of stem cell for such therapies. Transplantation of iPSCs has been shown to be effective in restoring function after SCIs in animal models while they circumvent ethical and immunological concerns produced by other stem cell types. Another approach for the treatment of SCI involves the graft of a bioscaffold at the site of injury to create a microenvironment that enhances cellular viability and guides the growing axons. Studies suggest that a combination of these two treatment methods could have a synergistic effect on functional recovery post-neural injury. While much progress has been made, more research is needed before clinical trials are possible. This review highlights recent advancements using iPSCs and bioscaffolds for treatment of SCI.
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