Defense Date

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Anatomy & Neurobiology

First Advisor

Raymond Dr. Colello

Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) has presented itself as a multifaceted pathology that is largely inhibitory to regeneration, and therefore to functional recovery, even though spinal cord neurons have been found to be innately regenerative. Thus, having identified the key players in the inhibition of this innate regeneration, SCI researchers have focused on two major types of approaches: (1) blocking inhibitory cues and (2) promoting innate regeneration. Schwann cells (SCs) have long been shown to promote and enhance functional recovery after SCI through providing supplemental myelination and trophic and tropic factors to regenerating axons, though singular approaches rarely address the complex SCI pathology. Guidance channels and scaffolds have been shown to provide physical support and directional cues to regeneration axons. Therefore, a combinatorial approach in which SCs migrate into and throughout a guidance scaffold would be an ideal research focus for treating SCI. However, cell migration into guidance scaffolds has been shown to be problematic. This study attempts to assess and improve two- and three-dimensional SC migration on electrospun scaffolds. Additionally, we evaluate the ability of SCs, seeded on Matrigel-coated electrospun scaffolds, to improve functional recovery in rats with completely transected spinal cords.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012

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