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Structure-function Evaluation of Stem Cell Therapies for Spinal Cord Injury

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 3 ]


Fuguo Zhang*   Pages 202 - 214 ( 13 )


Background: Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are prevalent, devastating for quality and expectancy of life, and cause heavy economic burdens. Stem cell therapies hold promise in complete structural and functional restoration of SCI.

Objective: This review focuses on the methods currently used to evaluate the stem cell therapies for SCI.

Results: Various kinds of stem cells involving embryonic stem cells (ESCs), bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs), neural stem cells (NSCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are extensively used in regenerative research of SCI. For evaluation, the survival and integration of transplanted cells, spinal cord reconstruction and functional recovery all should be considered. Histological and histochemistrical, microscopic, and colorimetric assays, and real-time RT-PCR techniques are applied to determine the outcome. From the three main aspects-transplanted cells, spinal cord structure, and functional recovery-we summarize and discuss these methods with certain instances of applications in SCI models. Importantly, for the evaluations of function, neuronal transmitting, electrophysiological analysis and behavioral score are included.

Conclusion: Wider conjunction of established technologies, as well as the further development of nondestructive methods might make a big difference in testing stem cell therapies.


Spinal cord injury, stem cells, structure, function, evaluation, regeneration, non-destructive methods.


Department of Orthopaedics, Taizhou First People's Hospital, Taizhou, 318020

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