07.01.18Nature Materials Dual-function injectable angiogenic biomaterial for the repair of brain tissue following stroke
Stroke is the primary cause of disability due to the brain’s limited ability to regenerate damaged tissue. After stroke, an increased inflammatory and immune response coupled with severely limited angiogenesis and neuronal growth results in a stroke cavity devoid of normal brain tissue. In the adult, therapeutic angiogenic materials have been used to repair ischaemic tissues through the formation of vascular networks. However, whether a therapeutic angiogenic material can regenerate brain tissue and promote neural repair is poorly understood. Here we show that the delivery of an engineered immune-modulating angiogenic biomaterial directly to the stroke cavity promotes tissue formation de novo, and results in axonal networks along thee generated blood vessels. This regenerated tissue produces functional recovery through the established axonal networks. Thus, this biomaterials approach generates a vascularized network of regenerated functional neuronal connections within previously dead tissue and lays the groundwork for the use of angiogenic materials to repair other neurologically diseased tissues.