Nanoparticles are increasingly being studied within experimental models of spinal cord injury (SCI). They are used to image cells and tissue, move cells to specific regions of the spinal cord, and deliver therapeutic agents locally. The focus of this article is to provide a brief overview of the different types of nanoparticles being studied for spinal cord applications and present data showing the capability of nanoparticles to deliver the chondroitinase ABC (chABC) enzyme locally following acute SCI in rats. Nanoparticles releasing chABC helped promote axonal regeneration following injury, and the nanoparticles also protected the enzyme from rapid degradation. In summary, nanoparticles are viable materials for diagnostic or therapeutic applications within experimental models of SCI and have potential for future clinical use.
Cells Tissues Organs 202(1-2): 102–115 (2016).