Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2016

Degree Name

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


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Bryan J. Pfister

Second Advisor

James Haorah

Third Advisor

Haesun Kim


Axon fibers are covered by myelin sheath. After axonal damage, demyelination follows with the production of debris. In the Central Nervous System many studies have been performed to observe and analyze stretch injured axons, but very little has been done to study the white matter axonal tracts, oligodendrocytes. Schwann cells can help take a first look into stretch injured glia cells from the Peripheral nervous system. In order to observe changes in Schwann Cells a stretch injury device is used to produce the effects of severe and moderate injuries. Schwann Cells are stretch injured in both their undifferentiated and differentiated stages. In characterizing both states of Schwann Cells we observe different outcomes for the influx values in the presence of a calcium-containing buffer and non-calcium containing buffer. In undifferentiated Schwann cells we observe a clear transient influx while in differentiated we see minimal response. To observe morphological changes in myelinated cells after injury we induce Schwann cell differentiation. In differentiated Schwann cells images are taken and analyzed as follows: preinjury, 1 hour after injury, 4 hours after injury, and 24 hours.