Spinal cord injury (SCI) is the result of a traumatic primary event followed by a so-called secondary injury, which is characterized by a large spectrum of biochemical cellular pathways able to spread the lesion, worsening neurologic recovery. A growing number of potential therapeutic interventions to counteract different neurodegenerative mechanisms of SCI have been proposed, but they did not show relevant efficacy when translated as clinical treatments. Different reasons could explain these disappointing results: on one side the multifactorial evolution of SCI after the primary injury that limits the beneficial effect of just one targeted treatment and, on the other, the restricted access of pharmacological therapies to the spinal cord. For these reasons, recently, a growing interest has been shown in the development of alternative delivery strategies to administer drugs and/or biological/cellular therapies into the spine (hydrogel and nanoparticles).
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Conflict of interest: The authors confirm that there are no known conflicts of interest associated with this publication and there has been no significant financial support for this work that could have influenced its outcome.