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Stem cell scaffolds repair rodent spinal cord damage

作者:还焉    发布时间:2019-03-02 09:15:02    

By Roxanne Khamsi, St Louis Synthetic structures seeded with neuron-producing human stem cells can help rodents with severe spinal cord damage to regain mobility, early results from animal tests suggest. Researchers hope that the approach might one day help to heal nervous system injury in humans. Evan Snyder, at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, California, US, and his colleagues designed special scaffolds to hold the neural stem cells. The tiny scaffolds – just a few millimetres in size – are made partly out of polylactic glycolic acid, the same material used for dissolvable sutures. Once implanted into the body of laboratory animals the scaffolds vanish leaving the stem cells in place. In 2002, Snyder and his colleagues reported scaffolds containing neural stem cells from mice promoted the healing of spinal cord damage in rats (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.052678899). At the 2006 American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in St Louis, Missouri, he told New Scientist that his team has seen similar improvements in rodents that received the biodegradable implants containing human neural stem cells. “Preliminary evidence shows that this works just as well using human cells, and the human cells would be suitable for clinical interventions,” says Snyder. The team used a standard 21-point scale to rate the level of spinal cord function in the laboratory animals in which a score of zero indicates complete paralysis and 21 represents complete mobility. The preliminary data showed that rodents given the tiny implants containing human stem cells can recover from spinal cord injury, reaching up to 14 on the scale. Snyder notes that this represents considerable progress:

 

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