Date of Award

5-31-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Bryan J. Pfister

Second Advisor

Raquel Perez-Castillejos

Third Advisor

George Collins

Abstract

Early studies in the area of neuronal physiology and injury have shown that axons are guided by a number of physical as well as chemical cues. Although the guidance effect of initial axons and their processes on later axons has been shown from a development point of view, little light has been thrown on the subject from the injury point of view. This important ability of axons which plays a key role during development and formation of neuronal networks could become crucial in repairing damaged nerves and disrupted neuronal tracts.

In the following study, the guidance effect of an older population of neurons on a younger population was studied using a specialized PDMS well. Embryonic DRGs derived from rats were used for the study and it was found that axons could be guided by other axons. The cues or the signaling mechanism responsible appeared to be contact dependent. However, more studies should be done in this direction to verify these results.

Share

COinS