Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Helen Fillmore

Second Advisor

Dr. Gerald Miller


Neurodegenerative diseases and brain tumors affect millions of patients worldwide and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The blood brain barrier constitutes a major obstacle to delivery of therapeutic agents administered systemically for treating these disorders. Intracranial drug delivery provides a novel way of bypassing the blood brain barrier and achieving high concentration of therapeutic agents in the brain while avoiding systemic side effects. However damage to tissues during insertion of catheters, release of air in the brain and consequent backtracking of dye are some disadvantages with this mode of treatment. We evaluated prototype cell delivery catheters (each with outer and inner catheter) developed to minimize these complications. The catheters (1.6 mm small bore and 2.0 mm large bore) were evaluated using agarose gel and cell culture experiments. We initially delivered pheochromocytoma (PC 12) cells through a 25-gauge syringe needle to optimize cell growth. We observed in the agarose gel experiments that when the inner catheter was filled and then inserted with the outer catheter into gel, no air bubble or backtracking of dye was seen. PC 12 cells delivered through the prototype catheters appeared to growth in collagen gel and differentiate into neurons in the presence of neural growth factor. Future studies with animal experiments would be needed to confirm the findings.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008