Tissue-engineering and regenerative medicine approaches to stabilise, protect and repair the damaged CNS
Richard is investigating how tissue engineering strategies can be used to promote repair after spinal cord injury. Specifically, he is investigating how to enhance the delivery of specialised support cells from the nose (olfactory ensheathing cells). Olfactory ensheathing cells can be safely harvested from human patients using an endoscope, and they represent a promising cell source for clinical therapies.
Nevertheless, at present, only a small number of cells remain present at the injury site following delivery, and the extracellular environment is unlikely to be optimised for repair. Accordingly, Richard is researching how these cells could be delivered in combination with biomaterial matrices to facilitate better repair after spinal cord injury.