Part of the book: Biomaterials
The peripheral nerve injury after trauma is a common occurrence in both human and veterinary medicine and has severe consequences for the survival and quality of life of the patients. Despite the continuous efforts and the creation of diverse medical and surgical techniques, the harmful effects of this type of injury are far from being overcome. Regenerative medicine has been growing in the scientific milieu as a new therapeutic approach for different situations. Among the cell-based therapies explored, the mesenchymal stem cells are evidenced by their features, versatility and potential applications. The olfactory mucosa mesenchymal stem cells, components of the olfactory system and identified in the lamina propria, were newly identified and are still undergoing characterization, appearing as a new promise in the regenerative therapy of several tissues but with special emphasis on the nervous system in general and the peripheral nervous system in particular, for which they appear to have special regenerative aptitude.
Part of the book: Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Peripheral nerve injuries remain a common clinical complication, and currently available therapies present significant limitations, often resulting in poor and suboptimal outcomes. Despite significant developments in microsurgical approaches in the last decades, no effective treatment options have been disclosed. Current research focuses on the optimization of such microsurgical techniques and on their combination with other pro-regenerative factors, such as mesenchymal stem cells or biomaterials. Mesenchymal stem cells present a remarkable capacity for bioactive molecule production that modulates inflammatory and regenerative processes, stimulating peripheral nerve regeneration. In parallel, efforts have been directed towards the development of biomaterial nerve guidance channels and nerve conduits. These biomaterials have been optimized in terms of biodegradability, ability to release bioactive factors, incorporation of cellular agents, and internal matrix architecture (to enable cellular migration and mimic native tissue morphology and to generate and bear specific electrical activity). The current literature review presents relevant advances in the development of mesenchymal stem cell and biomaterial-based therapeutic approaches aiming at the peripheral nerve tissue regeneration in diverse lesion scenarios, also exploring the advances achieved by our research group in this field in recent years.
Part of the book: Peripheral Nerve Disorders and Treatment