The group focuses on the research and development of new treatments for central nervous system (CNS) injury with potential use in human medicine. We deal with the use of stem cells (neural precursors, multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells) and polymeric hydrogels to treat brain and spinal cord injuries.
The development and application of 3D macroporous hydrogel scaffolds (based on different natural or synthetic biomaterials) provide the necessary architecture for the cell growth in vitro and targeted cell support that promote regeneration of the injured tissues after implantation. The 3D organization of the cell- scaffolds constructs more closely mimics the microenvironment occurred in vivo that opens additional opportunities for the development of 3D in vitro modelling systems.
We are working on the improvement of in vitro cell culture parameters and optimization of hypothermic/cryogenic storage conditions to ensure the maintenance of therapeutic potential of stem cells for clinical applications.
Another potential therapeutic target in the treatment of nervous system injury is microRNA. The main objectives of the project include the detection of the role of microRNA in the pathophysiology of spinal cord injury and stroke and the study of their possible therapeutic use.
- analysis of the temporal expression of miRNA in the nervous tissue following CNS injuries
- validation of individual miRNAs in vitro in a relevant cell context
- proving the therapeutic implications of specific microRNAs in vivo
- studying the role of signal pathways (NF-κB, mTOR) in stem cell differentiation and spinal cord injury