Development of polymer scaffolds for use in the repair of spinal cord injury

University of Glasgow

Past award

Student: Sara Hosseinzadeh

Year Award Started: 2014

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a major cause of persistent disability. One promising therapeutic approach is cell transplantation to fill the damaged injury site and encourage nerve processes to fill the gap. A range of neural/stem and engineered cells have provided tested evidence that this is a plausible approach in animal models of SCI. Although cell transplants can provide an environment conducive to axonal regeneration, however, the resulting axonal growth is poorly organised and this approach will not be possible where physical disruption of the spinal cord is extensive. Further, as the growth of human cells in culture can be slow and it is technically challenging to grow the large numbers of cells needed to fill a human lesion, we would like to develop an artificial scaffold seeded with glial cells to bridge the gap and promote repair. The main aim of the project is to test whether novel super-macroporous polymer scaffolds invented by Spheritech and designed to promote well-organised and appropriately aligned axonal growth can support the growth and differentiation of central nervous system cells as a prerequisite for use in vivo. This project will allow us to validate the scaffolds using our cultures that mimic the intact CNS environment prior to using animal models.

Research area: Neurological conditions (including stroke)


Professor Susan Barnett
Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation
Dr Mathis Riehle
Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology

Spheritech Ltd.