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Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00164

The role of biomaterials as angiogenic modulators of spinal cord injury: mimetics of the spinal cord, cell and angiogenic factor delivery agents

 Luis Rocha1, Rui Sousa2, David Learmonth2 and  Antonio Salgado1*
  • 1University of Minho, Portugal
  • 2Stemmatters (Portugal), Portugal

Spinal cord injury (SCI) represents an extremely debilitating condition for which no efficacious treatment is available. One of the main contributors to the inhospitable environment found in SCI is the vascular disruption that happens in the moment of lesion, that leads to a compromise in the blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) and to a cascade of events that include infiltration of inflammatory cells, ischemia and intraparenchymal hemorrhage. Due to the unsatisfactory nature of revascularization following SCI, restoring vascular perfusion and the BSCB seems an interesting way of modulating the lesion environment into a regenerative phenotype, with a potential increase in functional recovery. Biomaterials have interesting features to enhance such therapies, and in fact have been applied as angiogenic promoters in other pathologies. Thus, the present mini-review intends to show the importance that biomaterials may have in the development of therapeutic approaches that restore proper vascularization and the BSCB.

Keywords: spinal cord injury, sci, Angiogenesis, vascularization, Biomaterials, growth factors

Received: 09 Nov 2017; Accepted: 14 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Hemant Kumar, CHA University, South Korea

Reviewed by:

Thomas Shupe, Wake Forest University, United States
Graca Almeida-Porada, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Rocha, Sousa, Learmonth and Salgado. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Antonio Salgado, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, asalgado@med.uminho.pt