Peptide-Based Scaffolds Support Human Cortical Progenitor Graft Integration to Reduce Atrophy and Promote Functional Repair in a Model of Stroke
Stem cell transplants offer significant hope for brain repair following ischemic damage. Pre-clinical work suggests that therapeutic mechanisms may be multi-faceted, incorporating bone-fide circuit reconstruction by transplanted neurons, but also protection/regeneration of host circuitry. Here, we engineered hydrogel scaffolds to form "bio-bridges" within the necrotic lesion cavity, providing physical and trophic support to transplanted human embryonic stem cell-derived cortical progenitors, as well as residual host neurons. Scaffolds were fabricated by the self-assembly of peptides for a laminin-derived epitope (IKVAV), thereby mimicking the brain's major extracellular protein. Following focal ischemia in rats, scaffold-supported cell transplants induced progressive motor improvements over 9 months, compared to cell- or scaffold-only implants. These grafts were larger, exhibited greater neuronal differentiation, and showed enhanced electrophysiological properties reflective of mature, integrated neurons. Varying graft timing post-injury enabled us to attribute repair to both neuroprotection and circuit replacement. These findings highlight strategies to improve the efficiency of stem cell grafts for brain repair.
Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.
Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.