Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a traumatic lesion that can result in the loss of motor or sensory neurons. Stem cell (SC)-based therapies have been demonstrated to promote neuronal regeneration following SCI, by releasing a range of trophic factors that support endogenous repair or by differentiating into neurons, or glial cells in order to replace the damaged cells. However, numerous limitations remain for therapies based on SC transplantion alone, including a low rate of survival/engraftment. Nevertheless, scaffolds are 3-dimentional substrates that have revealed to support cell survival, proliferation and differentiation in vivo, by mimicking a more favorable endogenous microenvironment. A multidisciplinary approach, which combines engineered scaffolds with SCs has been proposed as a promising strategy for encouraging spinal cord regeneration. The present review has focused on the regenerative potential of mesenchymal SCs isolated from different sources and combined with various scaffold types, in preclinical and clinical SCI studies.
- Journal Article