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A Combination Tissue Engineering Strategy for Schwann Cell-Induced Spinal Cord Repair

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2014,29 Sep 2015

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New Jersey Institute of Technology Neward United States

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This study proposes a novel tissue engineering strategy utilizing electroactive conduits, neurotrophins and Schwann cells SCs to treat spinal cord injuries. The conduits have piezoelectric activity, which means they are able to generate electrical activity in response to minute deformations. The conduits containing SCs and releasing neurotrophins will promote axonal regeneration in the injured site and into the caudal cord to improve functional recovery. During this first year of funding, hollow versus fiber filled conduits containing SCs were evaluated incompletely transected spinal cords for promoting axonal regeneration. Conduits also were coated with or without Matrigel, a basement membrane protein matrix, to evaluate if Matrigel was necessary for SC survival and axonal growth. More axons and SCs were observed in the fiber-filled conduits containing Matrigel. The fibers enabled contact guidance for directed axon regeneration along the rostralcaudal axis regardless of the use of Matrigel. In vitro findings also complimented in vivo findings where greater neurite extension was determined on SC containing aligned fibers with or without Matrigel coating.

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