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Engineering Neural Tissue from Stem Cells
Dr. Willerth has brought together the main themes underlying tissue engineering in the central nervous system, with a focus on the brain, the spinal cord and including both traumatic and degenerative diseases. The book follows a natural progression: the first three chapters set the stage with a description of the central nervous system, its diseases and disorders, and the stem cells used therein; the subsequent three chapters, 4–6 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6, focus on the role of biomaterials and tissue engineering in overcoming these diseases in conjunction with stem cells; the last two chapters, 7 and 8, highlight the benefit of therapeutics co-delivered with stem cells and an outlook to the future.
In what many consider the final frontier of medicine, the central nervous system has been a formidable challenge, with a series of biological barriers making access and regeneration more difficult. It is important to realize that there is often very little that can be done for patients suffering from traumatic injuries such as stroke and spinal cord injury. For stroke, tissue plasminogen activator is the only approved treatment and it must be administered within 4 h to the patient. In spinal cord injury, methylprednisolone is administered to patients, but its benefit has been questioned. Importantly, a recent clinical trial led by Asterias has shown very promising results in spinal cord injury with the transplantation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells derived from embryonic stem cells. There is also excitement about ongoing clinical trials for degenerative diseases like blindness due to age-related macular degeneration.
Whether transplantation of exogenous stem cells or stimulation of endogenous stem cells, biomaterials can have a profound impact on success. In both cases, cell survival and integration are key barriers. Biomaterials can provide the environment that promotes greater cell survival by manipulating the mechanical and biochemical properties. Similarly, biomaterials can be used to deliver biomolecules locally to the brain or spinal cord, to stimulate endogenous stem cells and/or promote integration by breaking down barriers, such as that formed by the glial scar. With this book, Dr. Willerth captures some of the key challenges and opportunities that face engineering neural tissue in the central nervous system with stem cells.
- Provides readers entering the field with a strong basis of neural tissue engineering processes and real-world applications
- Discusses the most current clinical trials and their importance of treating nervous system disorders
- Reviews the structure and immune response of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and their present cells
- Offers a necessary overview of the natural and synthetic biomaterials used to engineer neural tissue
Biomedicine & Biochemistry
The disciplines of biomedicine and biochemistry impact the lives of millions of people every day. Research in these areas has led to practical applications in cardiology, cancer treatment, respiratory medicine, drug development, and more. Interdisciplinary fields of study, including neuroscience, chemical engineering, nanotechnology, and psychology come together in this research to yield significant new discoveries. Elsevier’s biomedicine and biochemistry content spans a wide range of subject matter in various forms, including journals, books, eBooks, and online information services, enabling students, researchers, and clinicians to advance these fields. Learn more about our Biomedical and Biochemistry books here.