Conférence en anglais
Le 19 mars 2015, à 15h00
Overcoming devastating diseases of the central nervous system is particularly challenging because the delivery strategies themselves are complicated by the blood-brain barrier. To overcome this limitation, we have designed strategies that circumvent the blood-brain barrier by direct stem cell transplantation in the tissue and/or direct delivery of biomolecules to the tissue. To promote regeneration after spinal cord injury, for example, we designed a local delivery strategy wherein a hydrogel comprised of hyaluronan/methylcellulose is injected into the intrathecal space. By incorporating biomolecules into this hydrogel, we achieve local delivery to the injured tissue and by using an affinity release strategy we can control release over a prolonged period. We took advantage of this injectable hydrogel for local delivery of neural stem cells to the injured spinal cord. Covalent modification of the hydrogel with cell adhesive peptides and growth factors promotes cell survival and differentiation to oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and enhanced tissue and functional repair. These strategies of cell delivery and cell stimulation reflect two exciting regenerative medicine approaches for the treatment of central nervous system diseases. Acknowledgments: We are grateful for funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR).