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J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(4), 839-863; doi:10.3390/jfb3040839

Building Biocompatible Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering of the Brain and Spinal Cord

1
Neuroscience Program and Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado-Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus, Mail Stop 8313, 12800 E. 19th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
2
Department of Bioengineering, University of Colorado-Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus, Mail Stop 8607, 12700 E. 19th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 June 2012 / Accepted: 24 October 2012 / Published: 15 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatibility of Biomaterials)
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Abstract

Tissue engineering strategies employing biomaterials have made great progress in the last few decades. However, the tissues of the brain and spinal cord pose unique challenges due to a separate immune system and their nature as soft tissue. Because of this, neural tissue engineering for the brain and spinal cord may require re-establishing biocompatibility and functionality of biomaterials that have previously been successful for tissue engineering in the body. The goal of this review is to briefly describe the distinctive properties of the central nervous system, specifically the neuroimmune response, and to describe the factors which contribute to building polymer hydrogels compatible with this tissue. These factors include polymer chemistry, polymerization and degradation, and the physical and mechanical properties of the hydrogel. By understanding the necessities in making hydrogels biocompatible with tissue of the brain and spinal cord, tissue engineers can then functionalize these materials for repairing and replacing tissue in the central nervous system. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain; spinal cord; microglia; astrocytes; biocompatibility; hydrogel; tissue engineering brain; spinal cord; microglia; astrocytes; biocompatibility; hydrogel; tissue engineering
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Aurand, E.R.; Wagner, J.; Lanning, C.; Bjugstad, K.B. Building Biocompatible Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering of the Brain and Spinal Cord. J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3, 839-863.

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