Defense Date

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Physiology

First Advisor

Raymond Colello

Abstract

This study examines the potential of Schwann cells (SCs) to be manipulated by electric fields (EFs) in order to improve recovery from spinal cord injury (SCI). It had long been believed that the central nervous system (CNS) is incapable of regeneration, but recent studies have proven otherwise. SC transplants are known to be useful in promoting axon regeneration after SCI, but is not sufficient for functional recovery. EFs are known to exist in vivo, and have been known to drastically affect the morphology and behavior of cells in various tissues. It was the hypothesis of this study that the conditioning and observed alignment of SCs was a reproducible phenomenon that could promote the growth of axons. It was found that SCs could be aligned at various field strengths and preliminary data suggest that aligned SCs increased the length and directionality of axons extending from DRG explants.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2009

Included in

Physiology Commons

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