About the book
Traumatic injury to the central nervous system is a major health issue affecting patients and families alike, with injuries to brain and spinal cord amounting to 1.5 million and 265,000 new cases each year respectively. To date, therapeutic interventions are limited to nerve grafting alone. A swelling number of key discoveries, however, now offer insight into specific cellular processes occurring during the initial degenerative phase and identifying multiple others that can then be activated during nerve and axonal regeneration. Spanning the range from neurotoxic gliosis to cue directed cell signaling and synaptogenesis this new knowledge is driving the development of allied technologies capable of responding to such cellular mechanisms and stimulating nerve recovery. Smart scaffolds, for example, marry advances in materials science with nanotechnology biosensors to create matrices that guide and activate neurite outgrowth; in other cases, conditioning electrical stimulation is used to initiate growth cone emergence while quantum dots deliver genetic cargo via maneuverable magnetic particles. Despite the significant progress in nerve regeneration, brain trauma remains, on the other hand, a broad frontier in early stages of exploration. Effective strategies here will likely involve non-invasive stimulation and pluripotent stem cell neurogenesis synchronized with multimodal approaches that match the complexity of the brain's neural connectivity, only now underway. This book will cover recent advances in the multifaceted domain of central nervous system regeneration and its alliance with an increasingly sophisticated and tailored biomedical arsenal.