Peripheral neuropathies are high frequency events, comparable in prevalence to brain stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. However, a suitable treatment to get full recovery is still difficult for health care providers and neuroscientists.
One limitation associated with nerve repair is the short window time available for therapeutic intervention. Thus, we focus on the development of new strategies to promote functional and morphological nerve regeneration and to prevent neuropathic pain development. Cell transplant combined with nanotechnological tools represent a novel and promising therapeutical strategy. Our group has demonstrated the effectiveness of the magnetic targeting of systemically transplanted adipose mesenchymal stem cells loaded with iron oxide nanoparticles as a neurogenerative approach. In addition, we demonstrated PEI-PLGA nanocapsules loaded with Sodium Fluorescein, and adsorbed/loaded with DNA as a successful non-viral transfection agent.
To take a step forward, the goal of the present project is to develop a magnetic poly lactic glycolic acid (PLGA) nanocapsule containing the mRNA/cDNA of trophic factors such as NGF, IGF-1, BDNF, GDNF or CNTF to transfect bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMC) and stimulate cell migration and recruitment to the injured nerve with magnetic targeting. By this way, the combination of biological and nanotechnological tools may be used to shed light in nerve regeneration and to propose a potential acellular regenerative approach.