Zhang Zhijun and colleagues from the CAS Suzhou Institute of Nanotechnology and Nanomimetics prepared scaffolds loaded with neural stem cells (NSC) using extrusion-based bio-3D printing. Under the protection of the scaffold, the implanted NSCs survived up to 12 weeks in vivo and differentiated into neurons, formed nerve fibers, achieved axonal regeneration, and significantly improved motor function in the hind limbs of SCI rats. The team also developed novel conductive hydrogels. The conductive spinal cord bionic scaffold were prepared by extrusion-based bio-3D printing technology. After printing, the survival rate of NSCs exceeded 90% and demonstrated good proliferation behavior within the scaffold. More importantly, the conductive scaffold significantly promoted the differentiation of NSC to neurons.
A 3D printed conductive nerve scaffold improves spinal cord injury repair