Translational Stroke Research

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 1–18 | Cite as

Hydrogel Scaffolds: Towards Restitution of Ischemic Stroke-Injured Brain

  • Aswathi Gopalakrishnan
  • Sahadev A. Shankarappa
  • G. K. Rajanikant
Original Article


Chronic brain injury following cerebral ischemia is a severe debilitating neurological condition, where clinical intervention is well known to decrease morbidity and mortality. Despite the development of several therapeutic strategies, clinical outcome in the majority of patients could be better improved, since many still face life-long neurological deficits. Among the several strategic options that are currently being pursued, tissue engineering provides much promise for neural tissue salvage and regeneration in brain ischemia. Specifically, hydrogel biomaterials have been utilized to docket biomolecules, adhesion motifs, growth factors, and other proneural cues for stable stem cell encapsulation. Here, we provide an overview of therapeutic applications of hydrogels in stroke treatment. Special focus is given to design considerations for generation of efficient hydrogel systems for neurological applications. Therapeutic applications of hydrogels in stroke as conducive microenvironments for stem cell transplantation and drug delivery have been discussed. Finally, we present our perspectives on clinical translation of hydrogels for neural tissue regeneration.


Hydrogel Cerebral ischemia Stem cells Bioactive molecules Neuroregeneration 



Blood blood-brain barrier




Central nervous system


Extracellular matrix


Hyaluronic acid




Extracellular fluid


poly(ethylene glycol)


Neural cell adhesion molecule


Human neural progenitor cells


Matrix metalloproteinase


Bone morphogenic protein-4


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor


Induced pluripotent stem cells


iPSC-derived NPCs


Arginine-glycine-aspartic acid


Elastin-like peptides


Neural stem cell


Human pluripotent stem cell


Human umbilical vein endothelial cells


Chorioallantoic membrane


Elastic modulus


Neural stem and progenitor cells


Methacrylamide chitosan


Urinary bladder matrix


Epidermal growth factor




Vascular endothelial growth factor


Heparin methacrylate


poly(vinyl alcohol)








poly(glyceryl methacrylate)


poly(N-2-hydroxypropyl methacrylamide)


poly(ethyleneglycol diacrylate)


Lower critical solution temperature


Upper critical solution temperature




poly-l-(lactic acid)


poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(propylene oxide)-b-poly(ethylene oxide)


pNIPAAm grafted PEG


poly(urethane amino sulfamethazine)








Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor


Hyaluronan/methyl cellulose


poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)






Embryonic stem cell




Genipin cross-linked sericin hydrogel


Human endometrial stem cells


Schwann cells




Magnetic resonance imaging


Positron emission tomography


Bioluminescence imaging


Chemical exchange saturation transfer


Glucagon-like peptide-1


Striatal enriched tyrosine phosphatase


Traumatic brain injury


Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells


Stromal cell-derived factor 1α


Chondroitin sulfate glycosaminoglycan


Spinal cord injury


Nerve growth factor


Human umbilical tissue-derived cells


Ventral midbrain




Hexahistidine peptide-linked recombinant BDNF


Parkinson’s disease




Tyrosine hydroxylase






Indocyanine green


polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate



PC gel

poly(ethylene glycol)-g-chitosan hydrogel


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BiotechnologyNational Institute of Technology CalicutCalicutIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research CenterAmrita Vishwa VidyapeethamKochiIndia

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