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Open Access Fibrin scaffolds embedded with sonic hedgehog/chitosan microspheres for recovery of spinal cord injury in rats

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Sonic hedgehog (SHH) has been shown to exert a protection on promoting the spinal cord injury (SCI) recovery, but it can’t remain with its biological activity and sustained release at the injury site for long-term application. Herein, fibrin scaffolds embedded with SHH-loaded chitosan (CS) microspheres (SHH/CS) were synthesized and applied to provide protection and regeneration for complete transected spinal cord in rats. Characteristics of fibrin scaffolds embedded with SHH/CS microspheres, histological studies, immunohistochemistry staining, Western Blotting and recovery of motor function were conducted after implantation, respectively. Result showed that SHH maintained its biological activity and continued to act at the injury site, and the fibrin scaffolds embedded with SHH/CS microspheres could protect neurons and reduce apoptosis in the in vivo study, it also promoted some nerve fibers cross the spinal cord injury area. Moreover, the scaffolds improved partial motor function of double-hindlimb on a macro level. Overall, the fibrin scaffolds embedded with SHH/CS microspheres showed more satisfactory effect on nerve regeneration, tissue cavities prevention and motor function improvement, compared to fibrin scaffolds with SHH directly encapsulated into or fibrin scaffolds alone.
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Keywords: Chitosan (CS) Microspheres; Fibrin Scaffold; Sonic Hedgehog (SHH); Spinal Cord Injury

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Medicine, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, P. R. China 2: Department of Orthopaedics, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, P. R. China 3: State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, P. R. China 4: School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Key Laboratory of Health Cultivation of the Ministry of Education, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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