Biomaterial Helps Brain Tissue Regrow After Stroke
A photomicrograph showing new tissue growing in the stroke cavity in a mouse. Red tubes are blood vessels; green filaments are nerve fibers. Credit: UCLA Health
A new stroke-healing gel created by UCLA researchers helped regrow neurons and blood vessels in mice whose brains had been damaged by strokes. The finding is reported in Nature Materials.
“We tested this in laboratory mice to determine if it would repair the brain and lead to recovery in a model of stroke,” said Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael, professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “The study indicated that new brain tissue can be regenerated in what was previously just an inactive brain scar after stroke.”
The results suggest that such an approach could some day be used to treat people who have had a stroke, said Tatiana Segura, a former professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UCLA who collaborated on the research. Segura is now a professor at Duke University.
The brain has a limited capacity for recovery after stroke. Unlike the liver, skin and some other organs, the brain does not regenerate new connections, blood vessels or tissue structures after it is damaged. Instead, dead brain tissue is absorbed, which leaves a cavity devoid of blood vessels, neurons or axons — the thin nerve fibers that project from neurons.
To see if healthy tissue surrounding the cavity could be coaxed into healing the stroke injury, Segura engineered a hydrogel that, when injected into the cavity, thickens to create a scaffolding into which blood vessels and neurons can grow. The gel is infused with medications that stimulate blood vessel growth and suppress inflammation, since inflammation results in scars and impedes functional tissue from regrowing.
After 16 weeks, the stroke cavities contained regenerated brain tissue, including new neuronal connections — a result that had not been seen before. The mice’s ability to reach for food improved, a sign of improved motor behavior, although the exact mechanism for the improvement wasn’t clear.
“The new axons could actually be working,” Segura said. “Or the new tissue could be improving the performance of the surrounding, unharmed brain tissue.”
The gel was eventually absorbed by the body, leaving behind only new tissue.
The research was designed to explore recovery in acute stroke, the period immediately following a stroke — in mice, that period lasts five days; in humans, it’s two months. Next, Carmichael and Segura plan to investigate whether brain tissue can be regenerated in mice long after the stroke injury. More than 6 million Americans are living with long-term effects of stroke, which is known as chronic stroke.
This article has been republished from materials provided by UCLA. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Nih, L., Gojgini, S., Carmichael, S., & Segura, T. (2018). Dual-function injectable angiogenic biomaterial for the repair of brain tissue following stroke. Nature Materials. doi: 10.1038/s41563-018-0083-8
Algorithm Enables Real-time Brain Scan RegisteringNews
Machine-learning algorithm that can register brain scans and other 3-D images more than 1,000 times more quickly using novel learning techniques.READ MORE
Gut Microbes May Contribute to Depression and AnxietyNews
Like everyone, people with type 2 diabetes and obesity suffer from depression and anxiety, but even more soREAD MORE
Understanding Brain’s Water System May Prove Beneficial in StrokeNews
If the mechanism can be targeted with medicine, it may prove relevant to all disorders involving increased intracranial pressureREAD MORE
Comments | 1 ADD COMMENT
Sorice Madina | May 28, 2018
My father had ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) for 3 years His first symptoms were weakness in his hands and losing his balance which led to stumbling and falling. He never lost the ability to swallow or breathe. His one hand, then his legs, were affected first; then his arms. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help him. The medical team did even less. His decline was rapid and devastating. The psychological support from the medical centre was non-existent and if it were not for the sensitive care and attention of his primary physician, he would have died . There has been little if any progress in finding a cure or reliable treatment. So this year his primary physician suggested we started him on Natural Herbal Gardens ALS Herbal mixture which eased his anxiety a bit,We ordered their ALS herbal treatment after reading alot of positive reviews, i am happy to report this ALS herbal treatment reversed my dad condition. His quality of life has greatly improved and every one of his symptoms including difficulty in walking and slurred speech are gone. Their official web site is ww w. naturalherbalgardens. c om He will be 74 soon and can now go about his daily activities
27th International Conference on Nanomedicine and Nanomaterials
Oct 18 - Oct 19, 2018