Silk biomaterials for the stroked brain

University of Edinburgh

Past award

Daphne Jackson Fellow: Dr Natalia Gorenkova

Year Award Started: 2015

Stroke treatment still requires significant optimisation. Recently, a large range of biomaterials has been studied for tissue engineering in relation to stroke, in particular as carriers for neural stem cells intracranial delivery. There have been partial successes, but with limitations for in-clinic translation because of complicated generation processes with elaborative tuning, poor biocompatibility and toxic degradation products. Silk, a biomaterial with natural utility, has excellent biocompatibility with most of living objects. During the project I am going to generate a new silk hydrogel with certain degradation rate and stiffness that closely matched brain tissue physical traits. Generation of the hydrogel with such specific features is important for directed neuronal differentiation and optimisation of stem cells delivery to the brain. After investigation the hydrogel and stem cells co-culture in vitro, I will test the ready to use 3D cell-on-matrix system in vivo on focal stroke model. Obtained results will be used for further clinical translational studies.

Research area: Neurological conditions (including stroke)


Dr Hilary Carswell
Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences