Biomaterials in Neurodegenerative Disorders: A Promising Therapeutic Approach
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Neurodegenerative disorders (i.e., Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and spinal cord injury) represent a great problem worldwide and are becoming prevalent because of the increasing average age of the population. Despite many studies having focused on their etiopathology, the exact cause of these diseases is still unknown and until now, there are only symptomatic treatments. Biomaterials have become important not only for the study of disease pathogenesis,
... sease pathogenesis, but also for their application in regenerative medicine. The great advantages provided by biomaterials are their ability to mimic the environment of the extracellular matrix and to allow the growth of different types of cells. Biomaterials can be used as supporting material for cell proliferation to be transplanted and as vectors to deliver many active molecules for the treatments of neurodegenerative disorders. In this review, we aim to report the potentiality of biomaterials (i.e., hydrogels, nanoparticles, self-assembling peptides, nanofibers and carbon-based nanomaterials) by analyzing their use in the regeneration of neural and glial cells their role in axon outgrowth. Although further studies are needed for their use in humans, the promising results obtained by several groups leads us to suppose that biomaterials represent a potential therapeutic approach for the treatments of neurodegenerative disorders.