Defense Date

6-6-2003

Graduation Date

2003

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

thesis

Degree Name

MS

Department

Biological Sciences

School

Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Committee Chair

John S. Doctor

Committee Member

Kacey Marra

Keywords

nerves

Abstract

Tissue-engineered nerve guides can provide mechanical support as well as biochemical stimulation for nerve regeneration. PC12 cells and rat cortical neurons were used to test poly(caprolactone) (PCL), collagenous microcarriers (CultiSphers), and a novel composite of the two materials as an initial step in the fabrication of multi-channeled nerve guides. PC12 cells were found to attach, proliferate and differentiate on laminin-coated PCL and on CultiSphers. When the initial concentration of PC12 cells was increased, the percentage of CultiSphers with cells attached increased as well. Changing the cell culture conditions from static to dynamic, however, had the opposite effect on cell attachment. A composite fabricated with PCL and CultiSphers has superior handling properties compared to PCL alone, as well as the capacity to support PC12 cell attachment and proliferation. The smooth composite surface also supports the attachment and extension of neurites from rat cortical neurons. While the composite allows random neurite extension, PCL with 10 micron grooves influences the directionality of neurite outgrowth of both PC12 cells and rat cortical neurons. Thus, PCL coated with laminin and collagen-based CultiSphers both provide substrates for cells to attach, proliferate and differentiate. Individually, however, these materials may not be ideal for nerve regeneration. A novel PCL/CultiSpher composite material has superior mechanical properties and the ability to support cellular attachment and differentiation. Furthermore, the composite may be utilized to fabricate a multicomponent grooved nerve guide for use in nerve regeneration.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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