Engineered Biomimetic Neural Stem Cell Niche
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Purpose of Review
Neural stem cells (NSCs) have the potential to proliferate and differentiate into functional neurons, heightening their potential use for therapeutic applications. This review explores bioengineered systems which recapitulate NSC niche cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions.
Delivery of NSCs to the cytotoxic injured brain is limited by low cell survival rates post-transplantation and poor maintenance of native niche bioactive components. The use of biomaterial platforms can mimic in vivo the environment of the two germinal areas of the adult brain in which NSCs thrive. An environmental mimic that includes extracellular proteins and moieties, along with appropriate biomechanical cues has recently demonstrated promising results in enhancing neurogenesis, aiding the production of a bioengineered niche.
Biocomposition, biomechanics, and biostructure can be manipulated through engineered platforms to re-create the biofunctionality of an NSC niche. Upon transplantation and delivery with biomimetic scaffolds, NSCs show potential to promote functional recovery and rebuild neural circuitry post neurological trauma.
KeywordsNeural stem cell Engineered niche Neurogenesis Biomimetic microenvironment Tissue engineering
Work from our laboratories was supported by NIH (R01EB016629-03).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Rita Matta and Anjelica Gonzalez each declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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