The health of the central nervous system (CNS) does not only rely on the state of the neural cells but also on how various extracellular components organize cellular behaviors into proper tissue functions. Biomaterials have been valuable in restoring or augmenting the roles of extracellular components in the CNS in the event of injury and disease. In this review, we highlight how biomaterials have been enabling tools in important therapeutic strategies involving cell transplantation and drug/protein delivery. We further discuss advances in biomaterial design and applications that can potentially be translated into the CNS to provide unprecedented benefits.
Keywords: Bioimaging; Cell transplantation; Drug and protein delivery; Endogenous cells and molecules; Glycomimetics; Hydrogels; Immunomodulation; Matrix architecture; Scaffolds; Temporal control.