The adult central nervous system (CNS) contains a population of neural stem cells, yet unlike many other tissues, has a very limited capacity for self-repair. Promoting tissue repair and functional recovery following CNS injury or disease is a high priority as there are currently no effective treatments towards this end for the treatment of disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. Recent advances in stem cell biology have offered a number of enticing potential avenues and we will discuss these possibilities along with the associated challenges as they pertain to stroke. We will consider exogenous therapies involving the transplantation of adult stem cells, and the mobilization of endogenous stem cells, as well as drug delivery and tissue engineering strategies that enhance and complement the cell based strategies.
Keywords: Adult stem cells, neural regeneration, biomaterials, tissue engineering, drug delivery systems, stroke, central nervous system, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, Surgery
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