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Use of GDNF-Releasing Nanofiber Nerve Guide Conduits for the Repair of Conus medullaris/Cauda Equina Injury in the Non-Human Primate

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2010,29 Sep 2011

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University of California, Davis Davis United States

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Our project studies the effects of lumbosacral ventral root avulson injury and repair in the non-human primate. During the initial study period, we have made significant progress. We have developed an extensive sct of pre-surgical outcome measures, including treadmi1llocomotor studies, electromyogram EMG recordings, MRI studies, urodynamic recordings, and pain behavioral studies. Many of our pre-surgical findings are novel, including assessments of autonomic function. We have, for instance, demonstrated a distinct pattern of EMG activation of the external anal sphincter muscle, an important outcome measure for the studies, which aim to repair cauda equina injuries. The EMG studies show a quiescent baseline at rest but an evoked response may be obtained from gentle stretching of the muscle. The findings have been characterized, an abstract submitted to an international meeting for presentation, and a manuscript is under preparation. We have also demonstrated surgical feasibility of our root injury procedure ,i.t.h post-operative data collection in progress.

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