Development of an injectable hydrogel as a nerve tissue scaffold for local, sustained release of neuroprotective agents.

by Cole, Parker; Brandecker, Katie; Love, Annah; Feimster, Macey; Tomescu, Ana; Hayden, Meredith; Balachandran, Kartik; Tian, Ryan

Loss of nerve function and cascades thereof are debilitating to patients suffereing from neurol. disease or injury such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Injectable biomaterials provide a unique platform for drug or cell delivery due to their biocompatiblity, scaffolding architecture, and sensitivty to physiol. conditions like temp. or pH. We have developed a temp.-sensitive hydrogel vehicle for the site-directed delivery of neuro-stimulatory compds. to facilitate neuroprotection and reinnervation. Our hydrogel has a transition temp. at 37°C. Our preliminary studies are designed to explore and assess the biodegradability and release kinetics of our hydrogel as well as confirm the neuroprotecitive actiivity of our target compouds.