The performance of laminin-containing cryogel scaffolds in neural tissue regeneration
Currently, there are no effective therapies to restore lost brain neurons, although rapid progress in stem cell biology and biomaterials development provides new tools for regeneration of central nervous system. Here we describe neurogenic properties of bioactive scaffolds generated by cryogelation of dextran or gelatin linked to laminin – the main component of brain extracellular matrix. We showed that such scaffolds promoted differentiation of human cord blood-derived stem cells into artificial neural tissue in vitro. Our experiments revealed that optimal range of scaffolds’ pore size for neural tissue engineering was 80–100 microns. We found that scaffold seeded with undifferentiated, but not neutrally committed stem cells, gave optimal cell adhesion and proliferation in “niche”-like structures. Subsequent differentiation resulted in generation of mature 3D networks of neurons (MAP2+) and glia (S100beta+) cells. We showed that cryogel scaffolds could be transplanted into the brain tissue or organotypic hippocampal slices in a rat models. The scaffolds did not induced inflammation mediated by microglial cells (ED1-, Ox43-, Iba1-) and prevented formation of glial scar (GFAP-). Contrary, laminin-rich scaffolds attracted infiltration of host’s neuroblasts (NF200+, Nestin+) indicating high neuroregeneration properties.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 32, Issue 13, May 2011, Pages 3423–3434