Researchers review potential of adipose-derived stem cells to improve nerve regeneration

Stem cell researchers at the Blond McIndoe Laboratory, University of Manchester, UK, led by Dr Adam Reid, present a review of the current literature on the suitability of adipose-derived stem cells in peripheral nerve repair.

Injuries to peripheral nerves are common and cause life-changing problems for patients alongside high social and health care costs for society. Current clinical treatment relies on sacrificing a nerve from elsewhere in the body to provide a nerve graft at the injury site, but much work has been done to develop a bioengineered nerve graft that would not require this sacrifice. Stem cells are prime candidates as accelerators of regeneration in these nerve grafts.

This prospect, reported in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No.14, 2014), presents the current literature on the potential of adipose-derived stem cells as tools to improve nerve regeneration through bioengineered nerve grafts. "Adipose-derived stem cells have the potential to stimulate improved nerve regeneration", stated the authors. "Their incorporation into bioengineered nerve graft treatments could revolutionize the current clinical approach to peripheral nerve repair".

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