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Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a traumatic, life-altering event, which presently, cannot be reversed. A key component of the secondary injury cascade of SCI is an inadequate blood supply (ischemia) present at the injury site, leading to a decrease in oxygen delivery (hypoxia), and possibly neuronal cell death (apoptosis). However, a third generation perfluorocarbon (OxycyteTM), at the appropriate dosage, can improve oxygenation of the injured tissue and overall motor behavior. To test this hypothesis, adult Long-Evans rats were divided into six experimental groups: a control group, a laminectomy group with no treatment, a 2 mL/kg and 5 mL/kg saline group, and a 2 mL/kg and 5 mL/kg Oxycyte group, with the focus on the 5mL/kg Oxycyte group. After performing a laminectomy on T9-T10 of the spinal cord, a 10g weight-dropping device was used at 25mm height, to mimic SCI, and the respective treatment was given. Post operation, rats were monitored and subjected to scoring according to the BBB scale and inclined plane test, to determine improvement on a functional level, day 1, 4, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42 after surgery. After functional tests were conducted, rats were euthanized for various lab tests, including histopathology and immunohistochemical analyses, to determine the key apoptotic related proteins, including caspase-3, ERK1/2, and TNFα. The results indicated a statistically significant improvement in recovery, on a functional and molecular level, in rats receiving 5 mL/kg dosage Oxycyte. However, more research of the optimal safe, efficacious dose needs to be conducted to present this research in a clinical setting.

Publication Date



Ischemia, Hypoxia, Oxycyte, Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Adly Yacoub


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Perfluorocarbon (Oxycyte) as Innovative Therapy post Spinal Cord Injury