Novel Electrode Designs for Neurostimulation in Regenerative Medicine: Activation of Stem Cells

Bioelectricity. 2020 Dec 1;2(4):348-361. doi: 10.1089/bioe.2020.0034. Epub 2020 Dec 16.


Neural stem and progenitor cells (i.e., neural precursors) are found within specific regions in the central nervous system and have great regenerative capacity. These cells are electrosensitive and their behavior can be regulated by the presence of electric fields (EFs). Electrical stimulation is currently used to treat neurological disorders in a clinical setting. Herein we propose that electrical stimulation can be used to enhance neural repair by regulating neural precursor cell (NPC) kinetics and promoting their migration to sites of injury or disease. We discuss how intrinsic and extrinsic factors can affect NPC migration in the presence of an EF and how this impacts electrode design with the goal of enhancing tissue regeneration. We conclude with an outlook on future clinical applications of electrical stimulation and highlight technological advances that would greatly support these applications.

Keywords: cell migration; electrical stimulation; electrode design.

Publication types

  • Review