Stefano Pluchino, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy

Transplanting stem cells into the lesioned spinal cord while removing forming barriers

Funded in: 2009, 2010, 2011

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Spinal cord injury causes continual functional lost (movement and sensation) through the loss of axonal connections. Many therapies aim at injecting stem cells (or “stem cell like” cells) after the injury to regenerate or replace the lost connections, but so far each therapy alone has provided modest improvements.

This may be due to the fact that the environment in which the cells are injected (the injured tissue) is not ideal. This project is then aiming at injecting several compounds (carried by microcapsules) that will alter the damaged spinal cord to maximise the effect of the injected stem cells.