1104. Growth Factor-Releasing Biocellulose Promotes Neural Stem Cell Proliferation

Award: Third Place Cerebrovascular Eposter Award

Authors: Ryan Vimukthie Sandarage; Taisa Stumpf; Ahmad Galuta; Tongda Li; Xudong Cao, PhD; Eve Tsai, MD, PhD (Vancouver, Canada)

Introduction: Stroke is a devastating condition that afflicts nearly 800,000 Americans annually leading to 140,000 deaths. Current treatments are still ineffective in repairing brain damage caused by stroke. Growth factors such as epidermal growth factor (EGF) and fibroblast growth factors (FGF2) can significantly increase neural stem cell survival and proliferation rates improving neurological function in animal models of stroke. However, these treatments cannot be translated to humans because they require extremely invasive and life-threatening surgeries to bypass the blood-brain barrier. Methods: We have developed an EGF and FGF2 growth factor-releasing biocellulose (BC) implant that is clinically applicable as of a decompressive craniectomy performed in stroke patients. The BC implant would facilitate the simultaneous delivery of EGF and FGF2 in a single implant bypassing the blood-brain barrier. The efficacy of the growth factor loaded BC material was assessed using an in vitro neurosphere and differentiation assays along with in vivo biocompatibility testing in rodents. Results: We provide evidence that BC was an effective growth factor delivery system for a period of one-week. The neural stems cells from growth-factor loaded BC treatment group are capable of differentiation into astrocytes and neurons. Lastly, we demonstrated the biocompatibility of BC implants in vivo in the acute and chronic settings post-decompression in rodents. Conclusion: We demonstrate that our BC was effective at delivering growth factors to promote the proliferation of neural stem/progenitor cells and that the implanted BC was biocompatible in rodents. These findings indicate that a BC implant loaded with growth factors may be clinically applicable in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke.