Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes intractable disease and leads to inevitable physical, financial, and psychological burdens on patients and their families. SCI is commonly divided into primary and secondary injury. Primary injury occurs upon direct impact to the spinal cord, which leads to cell necrosis, axon disruption, and vascular loss. This triggers pathophysiological secondary injury, which has several phases: acute, subacute, intermediate, and chronic. These phases are dependent on post-injury time and pathophysiology and have various causes, such as the infiltration of inflammatory cells and release of cytokines that can act as a barrier to neural regeneration. Another unique feature of SCI is the glial scar produced from the reactive proliferation of astrocytes, which acts as a barrier to axonal regeneration. Interdisciplinary research is investigating the use of biomaterials and tissue-engineered fabrication to overcome SCI. In this review, we discuss representative biomaterials, including natural and synthetic polymers and nanomaterials. In addition, we describe several strategies to repair spinal cord injuries, such as fabrication and the delivery of therapeutic biocomponents. These biomaterials and strategies may offer beneficial information to enhance the repair of spinal cord lesions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea ( NRF ) grant funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ( NRF 2016R1D1A1B01006658, 2019R1F1A1060157 and NRF 2020R1A6A3A13075880).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology