AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 2, 2020


To the Brain, Straight from the Vein: IV Treatment for TBI

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A team of researchers from the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center has found that neural exosomes—“cargo” molecules within the nervous system that carry messages to the brain—can minimize or even avert progression of traumatic brain injury when used as part of a new cell-to-cell messaging technology.

The finding could result in the first delivery platform and regenerative treatment for TBI.

The research outlines significant steps in providing data for industry development and commercial manufacturing of a regenerative TBI-IV therapy.

The new restorative technology contains bio-manufactured exosomes that can be stored on the shelf and given as an injection into a vein. Once injected, the exosomes become message mediators to reset, regenerate and coordinate communication with both neighboring and distant cells. As a result, this novel treatment showed improved functional recovery in rats after TBI.

“The technology takes full benefit of the desirable properties of a neural stem cell therapy without introducing cells into patients,” said Steven Stice, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and D.W. Brooks Distinguished Professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “We are working toward a therapeutic that has a multifunctional promise to repair brain injury and be producible in a cost-effective, off-the-shelf drug format.”

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