RGM.20.006 – From Bench to Brain (Bench2Brain): combining autologous stem cells with biomaterials for brain repair.

Route: Regenerative medicine: game changer moving to broad areas of application

Cluster question: 100 How can we use cells, stem cells, and biomaterials to engineer and regenerate tissues and organs?

Brain injuries caused by a traumatic injury (TBI), stroke or tumor removal, have a significant impact on patient health and society in general, with no treatments available to cure or reduce the impact of their long-term effects. These long-term effects, ranging from physical disability to neuropsychological issues, often go unaddressed or undiagnosed. With approximately 10 million cases of TBI, stroke and tumor removal that require surgery, each year worldwide, this represents a significant burden on our society.
One potential treatment is to use stem cells (SCs), which can release biological factors that reduce the severity of the immune response and thereby mitigate tissue damage for a healthier outcome. Research over the past 20 years has provided a wealth of knowledge and expertise to characterize and understand the curative potential of SCs, as evidenced by ongoing clinical trials in using these cells to treat spinal cord injury. These studies show that the beneficial effect of SCs during the first days after its intervention in acute central nervous system injury is induced by secretion of anti-inflammatory factors that are able to inhibit secondary inflammatory responses and scarring. However, delivering these cells into the brain using existing methods causes poor cell viability, thus limiting the application of this exciting new approach to treat brain lesions.
This initiative aims to achieve a scientific breakthrough: to clinically develop the first stem cell-biomaterial therapy to minimize the consequences of brain lesions by long-term delivery of SCs. With the expertise of academic, clinical and industrial partners, this will revolve around the optimization of an injectable biomaterial carrier to introduce and maintain SCs at the defect site in the cerebral cortex. This will stimulate their immune-modulating activity during the crucial first few days post brain injury, resulting in reduced tissue damage and thereby improved recovery and patient outcomes.


biomaterials, cancer, electrospinning, nanoparticles, polymers, stem cells, stroke, traumatic brain injury

Other organisations

Maastricht University (FHML, MERLN institute and MHeNs - Neuroscience), Neuroplast B.V.


Organisation Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+)
Name Prof.dr. Yasin Temel
E-mail y.temel@maastrichtuniversity.nl, s.vanrijt@maastrichtuniversity.nl
Website https://www.mumc.nl/en/specialisten/profdr-y-yasin-temel-0