Drug-like Delivery Methods of Stem Cells as Biologics for Stroke

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Stem cells, cerebral ischemia, drug, inflammation, translational research

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Introduction: Stem cell therapy is an experimental treatment for brain disorders. Although a cellular product, stem cells can be classified as biologics based on the cells’ secretion of therapeutic substances. Treatment with stem cell biologics may appeal to stroke because of the secondary cell death mechanisms, especially neuroinflammation, that are rampant from the onset and remain elevated during the progressive phase of the disease requiring multi-pronged biological targets to effectively abrogate the neurodegenerative pathology. However, the optimal delivery methods, among other logistical approaches (i.e. cell doses and timing of intervention), for stem cell therapy will need to be refined before stem cell biologics can be successfully utilized for stroke in large scale clinical trials.

Areas covered: In this review, we discuss how the innate qualities of stem cells characterize them as biologics, how stem cell transplantation may be an ideal treatment for stroke, and the various routes of stem cell administration that have been employed in various preclinical and clinical investigations.

Expert opinion: There is a need to optimize the delivery of stem cell biologics for stroke in order to guide the safe and effective translation of this therapy from the laboratory to the clinic.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, v. 16, issue 8, p. 823-833