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Biodegradable Nanoscaffolds Improve Chances for Stem Cell Therapies

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 15 Nov 2018
The therapeutic potential of biodegradable nanoscaffolds made from manganese dioxide (MnO2) for advanced stem cell transplantation and neural tissue engineering was discussed favorably in a recent paper.

Stem cell transplantation, as a promising treatment for central nervous system diseases, has been hampered by crucial issues such as a low cell survival rate, incomplete differentiation, and limited neurite outgrowth in vivo. Inorganic and carbon-based nanoscaffolds designed to support and improve stem cell growth have been handicapped by their non-biodegradability and restricted biocompatibility, thereby delaying their wide clinical applications. On the contrary, MnO2 nanomaterials have proven to be biodegradable in other bio-applications such as cancer therapies, with MRI active Mn2+ ions as a degradation product.

Image: A biodegradable inorganic nanoscaffold consisting of stem cells, proteins, and drugs for advanced stem cell therapy and drug delivery (Photo courtesy of KiBum Lee, Letao Yang and Sy-Tsong Dean Chueng, Rutgers University).
Image: A biodegradable inorganic nanoscaffold consisting of stem cells, proteins, and drugs for advanced stem cell therapy and drug delivery (Photo courtesy of KiBum Lee, Letao Yang and Sy-Tsong Dean Chueng, Rutgers University).

Investigators at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ, USA) designed nanoscaffolds that mimicked the natural tissue microenvironment to deliver physical and soluble cues. They took advantage of the biodegradability of MnO2 to incorporate its unique physiochemical properties into nano-sized structures for stem cell-based tissue engineering. The result, as described in the August 8, 2018, online edition of the journal Nature Communications was MnO2 nanomaterials-based three-dimensional hybrid nanoscaffolds that better regulated stem cell adhesion, differentiation into neurons, and neurite outgrowth in vitro and enabled enhanced stem cell transplantation benefits in vivo.

These biodegradable MnO2 nanoscaffolds could potentially serve as powerful tools for improving stem cell transplantation and advancing stem cell therapy.

"It has been a major challenge to develop a reliable therapeutic method for treating central nervous system diseases and injuries," said senior author Dr. KiBum Lee, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University. "Our enhanced stem cell transplantation approach is an innovative potential solution."

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