We developed an innovative biomaterial-based approach to repair the critical neural circuitry that controls diaphragm activation by locally delivering brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to injured cervical spinal cord. BDNF can be used to restore respiratory function via a number of potential repair mechanisms; however, widespread BDNF biodistribution resulting from delivery methods such as systemic injection or lumbar puncture can lead to inefficient drug delivery and adverse side effects. As a viable alternative, we developed a novel hydrogel-based system loaded with polysaccharide-BDNF particles self-assembled by electrostatic interactions that can be safely implanted in the intrathecal space for achieving local BDNF delivery with controlled dosing and duration. Implantation of BDNF hydrogel after C4/C5 contusion-type spinal cord injury (SCI) in female rats robustly preserved diaphragm function, as assessed by
Recommended CitationGhosh, Biswarup; Wang, Zhicheng; Nong, Jia; Urban, Mark W.; Zhang, Zhiling; Trovillion, Victoria A.; Wright, Megan C.; Zhong, Yinghui; and Lepore, Angelo C., "Local BDNF Delivery to the Injured Cervical Spinal Cord using an Engineered Hydrogel Enhances Diaphragmatic Respiratory Function." (2018). Farber Institute for Neurosciences Faculty Papers. Paper 30.
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