Cells and Biomaterials for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration

Cells and Biomaterials for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration

Sunil Mahor, Estelle Collin, Biraja Dash, David Eglin, Abhay Pandit
ISBN: 9781608454648 | PDF ISBN: 9781608454655
Copyright © 2010 | 104 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2010

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Disorders related to the intervertebral disc (IVD) are common causes of morbidity and of severe life quality deterioration. IVD degeneration, although in many cases asymptomatic, is often the origin of painful neck and back diseases. In Western societies IVD related pain and disability account for enormous health care costs as a result of work absenteeism and thus lost production, disability benefits, medical and insurance expenses. Although only a small percentage of patients with disc disorders finally will undergo surgery, spinal surgery has been one of the fastest growing disciplines in the musculoskeletal field in recent years. Nevertheless, current treatment options are still a matter of controversial discussion. In particular, they hardly can restore normal spine biomechanics and prevent degeneration of adjacent tissues. While degeneration affects all areas of the IVD, the most constant and noticeable changes occur in the gel-like central part, the nucleus pulposus (NP). Recent emphasis has therefore been put in biological ways to regenerate the NP; however, there are a number of obstacles to overcome, considering the exceptional biological and biomechanical environment of this tissue. Different biological approaches such as molecular, gene, and cell based therapies have been investigated and have shown promising results in both in vitro and in vivo studies. Nonetheless, considerable hurdles still exist in their application for IVD regeneration in human patients. The choice of the cells and the choice of the cell carrier suitable for implantation pose major challenges for research and development activities. This lecture recapitulates the basics of IVD structure, function, and degeneration mechanisms. The first part reviews the recent progress in the field of disc and stem cell based regenerative approaches. In the second part, most appropriate biomaterials that have been evaluated as cell or molecule carrier to cope with degenerative disc disease are outlined. The potential and limitations of cell- and biomaterial-based treatment strategies and perspectives for future clinical applications are discussed.

Table of Contents

Cell Therapy for Nucleus Pulposus Regeneration
Recent Advances in Biomaterial Based Tissue Engineering for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration

About the Author(s)

Sunil Mahor, National University of Ireland, Galway
Sunil Mahor is currently a Post-doctoral researcher at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) laboratory at the National University of Ireland Galway. He completed his PhD in Pharmaceutics in 2006 at the Dr. H. S. Gour University Sagar (India). Sunil's current research interests include gene therapy based IVD regeneration strategies, vaccine development, advanced drug and gene delivery using synthetic nanocarriers, nanoparticles and the development of ECM based biomaterial based drug delivery systems.

Estelle Collin, National University of Ireland, Galway
Estelle Collin is a researcher at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) laboratory at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She completed her Professional Master of Biology Cellular and Molecular engineering at the Universite des Sciences et Technologies de Lille (France) in 2008. Estelle's current research efforts involve the development of cell and gene therapy of the intervertebral discs using an in-situ cross-linkable cell-seeded scaffold for the regeneration of degenerated discs. She is also investigating the addition of siRNA into the reservoir which it is hypothesized will slow down the degeneration process by repressing the up-regulated genes implicated in this process in the resident cells.

Biraja Dash, National University of Ireland, Galway
Biraja Dash is currently a researcher at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) laboratory at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He completed his Master's in Life Sciences in 2005 from Sambalpur University (India). He has also worked as a Junior Research Fellow at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (India). His research interests includes the fabrication of elastin peptide PEG based platform hollow spheres which can respond locally to the pro-thrombotic response of injured coronary vasculature. This platform technology can also be adapted to specific requirements for treating chronic (disease-generated) or acute (procedure-mediated) injury.

David Eglin, AO Research Institute Davos, Switzerland
David Eglin earned his PhD from Nottingham Trent University (UK) under the supervision of Professor Carole C.Perry in 2002 after which he joined the group of Professor Jacques Livage at the College de France (FR). He is currently principal investigator in the Musculoskeletal Regeneration Program at the AO Research Institute Davos (CH). His research interests include cell and drug delivery systems and biodegradable polymers for regenerative medicine.

Abhay Pandit, National University of Ireland, Galway
Abhay Pandit is the Director of the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB); a Science Foundation Ireland funded Strategic Research Cluster at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The NFB research programme hosts several technology platforms associated with the development of biomaterials for clinical applications. Functionality to these forms is achieved through custom chemistries which facilitate the attachment of surface tethered moieties or encapsulated therapeutic factors including drugs, genes and other active agents. Although these platforms have been developed for musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, soft tissue repair or neural targets, other clinical targets including cancer and diagnostics are yet to be exploited.

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