Regenerative medicine is an emerging field of medicine that aims to repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, tissues, and organs using a variety of techniques. In the case of spinal cord injury, regenerative medicine strategies aim to promote the repair and regeneration of the damaged nerve fibers that make up the spinal cord. These strategies are incredibly important for treating damage to the central nervous system because of it's very limited capacity to repair after injury. This can be done through a variety of methods, including:

  1. Cell replacement therapy: In this approach, cells that can differentiate into the types of cells that make up the spinal cord are transplanted into the site of injury to replace the damaged cells. For instance, researchers have implanted hair follicle stem cells into the gap region of severed sciatic or tibial nerves to greatly enhanced the rate of nerve regeneration and restoration of nerve function (reference).

  2. Extracellular Particles: Extracellular particles may play a role in promoting repair and regeneration by delivering signaling molecules, growth factors, and other beneficial substances to the cells in the injured area. For example, EVs released from stem cells may contain RNA that can instruct injured cells to repair themselves. Similarly, exosomes secreted by neural cells may contain growth factors that promote the growth of new nerve fibers (reference).

  3. Tissue engineering: This approach involves using a combination of cells, biomaterials, and other factors to create a supportive environment for the growth and regeneration of nerve fibers.

  4. Combination therapy: Some researchers are exploring the use of a combination of these different approaches to maximize the potential for nerve regeneration and functional recovery.

It's important to note that Spinal cord injury repair is an active area of research and it's still under trial and testing phases.