Toward a convergence of regenerative medicine, rehabilitation, and neuroprosthetics

J Neurotrauma. 2011 Nov;28(11):2329-47. doi: 10.1089/neu.2010.1542. Epub 2011 Aug 8.


No effective therapeutic interventions exist for severe neural pathologies, despite significant advances in regenerative medicine, rehabilitation, and neuroprosthetics. Our current hypothesis is that a specific combination of tissue engineering, pharmacology, cell replacement, drug delivery, and electrical stimulation, together with plasticity-promoting and locomotor training (neurorehabilitation) is necessary to interact synergistically in order to activate and enable all damaged circuits. We postulate that various convergent themes exist among the different therapeutic fields. Therefore, the objective of this review is to highlight the convergent themes, which we believe have a common goal of restoring function after neural damage. The convergent themes discussed in this review include modulation of inflammation and secondary damage, encouraging endogenous repair/regeneration (using scaffolds, cell transplantation, and drug delivery), application of electrical fields to modulate healing and/or activity, and finally modulation of plasticity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / trends
  • Humans
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy*
  • Neural Prostheses / trends*
  • Regenerative Medicine / methods
  • Regenerative Medicine / trends*
  • Rehabilitation / methods
  • Rehabilitation / trends*