The research team used model spinal cord injuries in rats for their purposes. As a result, it was found out that therapy by adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells combined with fibrin matrix influences the restoration of motor functions. It also decreases the area of pathological cavities and reduces astroglial activation.
As team leader Yana Mukhamedshina explains, "We chose the contusion model of spinal cord injury because neurosurgeons mostly deal with this type of injuries. Also, fat is a good resource of stem cells, and liposuction is a rather well developed and non-traumatic procedure. This is also the reason for autologous stem cell transplants where a patient receives their own stem cells. In our case, the transplant is conducted through application of mesenchymal stem cells with fibrin matrix to an injured area without surgical interventions. Basically, it's a standard surgical glue used in medical procedures. As a result, we can stipulate that patient's own stem cells can be transplanted during repeated surgeries."
Importantly, the scientists waited for the subacute period to conduct tests. It's not always possible to perform transplants right after the injury, during decompression and cleaning of affected areas. However, patients often require repeated procedures where such technology can be of use.
The team is now waiting for amendments to existing regulations in biomedical cell products to start clinical trials.
Frontiers in Pharmacology