Development of biomaterial scaffold for nerve tissue engineering: Biomaterial mediated neural regeneration

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Neural tissue repair and regeneration strategies have received a great deal of attention because it directly affects the quality of the patient's life. There are many scientific challenges to regenerate nerve while using conventional autologous nerve grafts and from the newly developed therapeutic strategies for the reconstruction of damaged nerves. Recent advancements in nerve regeneration have involved the application of tissue engineering principles and this has evolved a new perspective to neural therapy. The success of neural tissue engineering is mainly based on the regulation of cell behavior and tissue progression through the development of a synthetic scaffold that is analogous to the natural extracellular matrix and can support three-dimensional cell cultures. As the natural extracellular matrix provides an ideal environment for topographical, electrical and chemical cues to the adhesion and proliferation of neural cells, there exists a need to develop a synthetic scaffold that would be biocompatible, immunologically inert, conducting, biodegradable, and infection-resistant biomaterial to support neurite outgrowth. This review outlines the rationale for effective neural tissue engineering through the use of suitable biomaterials and scaffolding techniques for fabrication of a construct that would allow the neurons to adhere, proliferate and eventually form nerves. The human brain is analogous to a black box of information and unraveling its mysteries is essential to understand its complex relationship with the various components of the peripheral and central nervous systems. This information is vital to probe the causes for various neural disorders and arrive at a plausible therapy for the treatment of ischemic, metabolic, congenital, or degenerative disorders of the central or peripheral nervous systems. Conventionally, autologous grafts are gold standards and have been used to treat neural defects. Regeneration strategies for peripheral and central nervous system damage have not been very successful due to lack of knowledge about the mechanisms of nerve injury and repair [25]. Nerve cells have been found capable of easily bridging gaps of less than 6 mm.

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