Traumatic brain injury (TBI) impacts over 3.17 million Americans. Management of hemorrhage and coagulation caused by vascular disruption after TBI is critical for the recovery of patients. Cerebrovascular pathologies play an important role in the underlying mechanisms of TBI. The objective of this study is to evaluate a novel regenerative medicine for the injured tissue after brain injury. We utilized a recently described synthetic growth factor with angiogenic potential to facilitate vascular growth in situ at the injury site. Previous work has shown how this injectable self-assembling peptide-based hydrogel (SAPH) creates a regenerative microenvironment for neovascularization at the injury site. Supramolecular assembly allows for thixotropy; the injectable drug delivery system provides sustained in vivo efficacy. In this study, a moderate blunt injury model was used to cause physical vascular damage and hemorrhage. The angiogenic SAPH was then applied directly on the injured rat brain. At day 7 post-TBI, significantly more blood vessels were observed than the sham and injury control group, as well as activation of VEGF-receptor 2, demonstrating the robust angiogenic response elicited by the angiogenic SAPH. Vascular markers von-Willebrand factor (vWF) and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) showed a concomitant increase with blood vessel density in response to the angiogenic SAPH. Moreover, blood brain barrier integrity and blood coagulation were also examined as the parameters to indicate wound recovery post TBI. Neuronal rescue examination by NeuN and myelin basic protein staining showed that the angiogenic SAPH may provide and neuroprotective benefit in the long-term recovery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Cerebrovascular injury
- Regenerative medicine
- Self-assembling peptide hydrogels
- Traumatic brain injury