Local Delivery of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Enables Behavioral Recovery and Tissue Repair in Stroke-Injured Rats

Tissue Eng Part A. 2019 Aug;25(15-16):1175-1187. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2018.0215. Epub 2019 Feb 27.


We developed a biocomposite that can be mixed with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and dispensed onto the surface of the brain to provide sustained, local release of the protein using a procedure that avoids additional damage to neural tissue. The composite is simple to fabricate, and provides sustained release without nanoparticle encapsulation of BDNF, preserving material and protein bioactivity. We demonstrate that when delivered epicortically to a rat model of stroke, this composite allows BDNF to diffuse into the brain, resulting in enhanced behavioral recovery and synaptic plasticity in the contralesional hemisphere.

Keywords: BDNF; behavior; hydrogel; nanoparticle; plasticity; stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal* / drug effects
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / pharmacology*
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Hindlimb / drug effects
  • Hindlimb / pathology
  • Hindlimb / physiopathology
  • Hyaluronic Acid / chemistry
  • Male
  • Methylcellulose / chemistry
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer / chemistry
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Recovery of Function* / drug effects
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Synaptophysin / metabolism


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Synaptophysin
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Methylcellulose