Biomedical Engineering Advancements after Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS): A Narrative Review
Keywords:Myelomeningocele, Fetoscopic Surgery, Tissue Engineering, Tissue Scaffolds, Neural Tube Defect
Spina bifida is a neural tube defect resulting from an incomplete closure of the caudal neuropore. The most debilitating form of spina bifida, myelomeningocele (MMC), can present with Chiari II malformation with concomitant hydrocephalus, bowel and bladder abnormalities, and impaired motor function of the lower limbs. The incidence rate of spina bifida is 3.4 per 10,000 live births reported within the US. Advancements in the standard therapy, namely prenatal intervention pioneered by the Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS), have aimed to reduce maternal and fetal complications, and yet complications were increased, calling for the need of further improvements. Beyond current standard interventions for MMC, the most promising developments have employed various biomedical methods ranging from isolated stem cell injections to biodegradable scaffold patches. These scaffolds can be biologic or synthetic and are often incorporated with bioactive proteins or stem cells. This review discusses the benefits and limitations of post-MOMS era biomedical engineering intervention articles found in 3 medical and biomedical databases consisting of systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized control trials, and experimental studies. After analysis of the advancements and limitations of these studies, an engineered synthetic biodegradable scaffold seeded with bioactive proteins and stem cells create a superior scaffold possessing watertight impermeability and cytocompatibility for successful coverage and host integration with minimal inflammation. Coupled with minimally invasive intra-amniotic injection delivery, an earlier mitigation could further prevent progression of poor neurologic outcomes, and possibly even regenerate neuronal tissue in patients with MMC.
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