In Spain, researchers from the Polytechnic University of Madrid developed a silk biomaterial that can increase the survival of transplanted stem cells into the brain, improving recovery after a stroke or brain injury, according to Labiotech.
While stem cell transplants are promising for regeneration of the brain, most cells don’t survive due to the inflammation that occurs after an injury. The researchers found that by encapsulating the stem cells with a silk protein based biomaterial, the cells were protected and had a higher chance of survival.
“In many cell therapy studies, most of the mesenchymal stem cells implanted don’t survive beyond 1-2 weeks after the implantation,” Daniel Gonzalez-Nieto, researcher at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), told Labiotech. “In this study we found that our biomaterial increases the survival of these cells in the brain to over 4 weeks. The changes were extraordinary, the treatment improved the sensory and movement ability of the animals that had suffered a stroke.”