Chronic brain injury following cerebral ischemia is a severe debilitating neurological condition, where clinical intervention is well known to decrease morbidity and mortality. Despite the development of several therapeutic strategies, clinical outcome in the majority of patients could be better improved, since many still face life-long neurological deficits. Among the several strategic options that are currently being pursued, tissue engineering provides much promise for neural tissue salvage and regeneration in brain ischemia. Specifically, hydrogel biomaterials have been utilized to docket biomolecules, adhesion motifs, growth factors, and other proneural cues for stable stem cell encapsulation. Here, we provide an overview of therapeutic applications of hydrogels in stroke treatment. Special focus is given to design considerations for generation of efficient hydrogel systems for neurological applications. Therapeutic applications of hydrogels in stroke as conducive microenvironments for stem cell transplantation and drug delivery have been discussed. Finally, we present our perspectives on clinical translation of hydrogels for neural tissue regeneration.
A. Gopalakrishnan, Shankarappa, S. A., and Rajanikant, G. K., “Hydrogel Scaffolds: Towards Restitution of Ischemic Stroke-Injured Brain.”, Transl Stroke Res, 2018.