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Title:Application of self-rolled-up membrane technology for enhanced neuron guidance and alignment
Author(s):Cangellaris, Olivia Vassiliki
Director of Research:Gillette, Martha U
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Gillette, Martha U
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Li, Xiuling; Bashir, Rashid; Kong, Hyunjoon
Department / Program:Bioengineering
Discipline:Bioengineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):neurons
neuronal alignment
microtubes
silicon nitride nanomembranes
self-rolled-up membranes (S-RUMs)
neural scaffold
topographical cues
electrical stimulation
electric field
Abstract:Neural circuits are fundamental components that regulate critical autonomic functions throughout the human body. Disruption of neural circuits, through neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, as well as sensory neuropathies, and traumatic injuries can be incredibly debilitating. Neurological deficits have been identified as the leading cause contributing to disability adjusted life years in the United States, meaning they lead to more years of healthy life lost to disease state, leading cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Neural circuits cannot repair themselves in the same way a superficial cut, or even injury to the liver can be repaired. The inability of neural circuits to recover from injury results from a combination of the loss of essential cues that disappear post-developmentally, and complications from inflammatory response and glial scarring. Engineered therapies for neural regeneration are a burgeoning area of interest, with many techniques being explored to improve existing scaffolds for neural repair (e.g. nerve guide conduits), and develop new methods to manipulate and enhance neurite growth. This dissertation reports the use of self-rolled-up silicon nitride (SiNx) membranes to culture neurons for future applications for neuroregenerative repair. Through initial characterization of neurite growth on the microtube platform, we demonstrate enhanced alignment of neurites along the microtube topography. Following modification of microtube geometry, we found that adjustment to microtube array pitch improves neurite alignment compared to a static pitch, and increased microtube length also confers greater instances of neurite alignment. Initial experiments adding electrical stimulation to the platform reveal increased neurite growth rate and length, and increased neurite organization along the direction of the electric field. The work presented in this dissertation lays the foundation for further adaptation of the SiNx microtubes for applications for neuroregenerative therapies.
Issue Date:2018-12-04
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/102933
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Olivia Vassiliki Cangellaris. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-02-08
Date Deposited:2018-12


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