‘Brain glue’ helps repair circuitry in severe TBI

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Sumary of ‘Brain glue’ helps repair circuitry in severe TBI:

  • At a cost of $38 billion a year, an estimated 5.3 million people are living with a permanent disability related to traumatic brain injury in the United States today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..
  • The physical, mental and financial toll of a TBI can be enormous, but new research from the University of Georgia provides promise..
  • In a new study, researchers at UGA’s Regenerative Biosciences Center have demonstrated the long-term benefits of a hydrogel, which they call “brain glue,”.
  • The new study provides evidence that not only does the gel protect against loss of brain tissue after a severe injury, but it also might aid in functional neural repair..
  • Reported on March 5 in Sciences Advances, the new finding is the first to provide visual and functional evidence of the repair of brain neural circuits involved in reach-to-grasp movement in brain glue-implanted animals following severe TBI..
  • said lead investigator Lohitash Karumbaiah, an associate professor in the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences..
  • Created by Karumbaiah in 2017, brain glue was designed to mimic the structure and function of the meshwork of sugars that support brain cells..
  • The gel contains key structures that bind to basic fibroblast growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, two protective protein factors that can enhance the survival and regrowth of brain cells after severe TBI..
  • In a prior short-term study, Karumbaiah and his team showed that brain glue significantly protected brain tissue from severe TBI damage..
  • In this new research, to harness the neuroprotective capacity of the original, they further engineered the delivery surface of protective factors to help accelerate the regeneration and functional activity of brain cells..
  • “Animal subjects that were implanted with the brain glue actually showed repair of severely damaged tissue of the brain,”.
  • To measure the glue’s effectiveness, the team used a tissue-clearing method to make brain tissue optically transparent, which allowed them to visually capture the immediate response of cells in the reach-to-grasp circuit using a 3D imaging technique..
  • “Because of the tissue-clearing method, we were able to obtain a deeper view of the complex circuitry and recovery supported by brain glue,”.
  • “Using these methods along with conventional electrophysiological recordings, we were able to validate that brain glue supported the regeneration of functional neurons in the lesion cavity.”.
  • “The modulation of this circuit in the rat could help speed up clinical translation of brain glue for humans,”.
  • He is also partnering with Parastoo Azadi, technical director of analytical services at the UGA Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, and GlycoMIP, a $23 million, National Science Foundation-funded Materials Innovation Platform, created to advance the field of glycomaterials through research and education..
  • “This research involved a whole cross-section of RBC undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty members from both UGA and Duke University.”.
  • The collaborative research effort provided five UGA RBC fellow undergraduates with an experiential learning opportunity and to publish their first paper…

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