Towards clinical translation of 'second-generation' regenerative stroke therapies: hydrogels as game changers?

Trends Biotechnol. 2022 Jun;40(6):708-720. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2021.10.009. Epub 2021 Nov 20.


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.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels / pharmacology
  • Hydrogels / therapeutic use
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Stroke* / therapy
  • Tissue Engineering


  • Hydrogels