Journal: Advanced Functional Materials
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Handling stem cells with care
© Ed Reschke/Getty
A new hydrogel that protects and supports stem cells during and after transplantation could be used to repair damaged brain cells.
The transplantation of stem cells has a lot of promise for repairing damaged tissues in the body. But one challenge is the low survival rate of transplanted cells because of the buffeting they receive during transplantation and the lack of support after transplantation.
Now, a team that included a researcher from Deakin University in Australia has come up with a bioinspired hydrogel that solves both problems. Stem cells embedded in the hydrogel are not subjected to mechanical stress during injection, and the hydrogel offers an environment that mimics those in tissue.
The researchers demonstrated the hydrogel by using it to transfer stem cells to mouse brains.
In the future, the hydrogel could be used to repair brain cells damaged by neurodegenerative disorders and stroke.
- Advanced Functional Materials 30, 1900390 (2020). doi: 10.1002/adfm.201900390