Regional diffusion gradients of molecular factors provide developmental cues in neural tissue organoids
Evidence mounts that stem cells on fiber scaffolds make an ideal approach for enhancing implanted cell survival and integration.
Several designs for 3-D neural tissue constructs are described combining stem cells, hydrogel biomaterials, and micropatterned scaffolding.
New mathematical models describe the complex interactions of stem cell function and molecular diffusion in neural tissue, which may help explain many phenomena from stem cell differentiation to the formation of the cortex of the brain.
Research work recently published in the Journal of Neural Engineering demonstrates a strategy for reconstructing three-dimensional (3D) neural tissue architecture using patterned nanofiber scaffolding within 3D hydrogel structures. This composite architecture can guide and enhance neurite outgrowth, particularly when functionalized with certain types of cell signaling and adhesion molecules. This may have applications for in vitro neural models as well as for in vivo regeneration and restoration of neural pathways in damaged or diseased neural tissue.
Research at the University of Cambridge suggests that stem cells can use cellular vesicles as a sort of "first aid kit" to repair neural tissue damage.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Stem Cell Institute have constructed 3D models of Alzheimer's disease with human neurons derived from induced stem cells of patients with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.