Stroke is an unmet clinical need with a paucity of treatments, at least in part because chronic stroke pathologies are prohibitive to 'first-generation' stem cell-based therapies. Hydrogels can remodel the hostile stroke microenvironment to aid endogenous and exogenous regenerative repair processes. However, no clinical trials have yet been successfully commissioned for these 'second-generation' hydrogel-based therapies for chronic ischaemic stroke regeneration. This review recommends a path forward to improve hydrogel technology for future clinical translation for stroke. Specifically, we suggest that a better understanding of human host stroke tissue-hydrogel interactions in addition to the effects of scaling up hydrogel volume to human-sized cavities would help guide translation of these second-generation regenerative stroke therapies.
Keywords: biomaterial technology; brain repair; hydrogel matrix; scaffold; stroke; tissue engineering.
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