Date Approved

5-22-2018

Embargo Period

5-22-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MS Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

College

Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

First Advisor

Kadlowec, Jennifer

Second Advisor

Singh, Anita

Third Advisor

Constans, Eric

Subject(s)

Spinal cord--Wounds and injuries; Implants--Artificial; Biomechanics

Disciplines

Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is a condition that affects around 250,000 Americans with no cure. Existing treatments rely on physical therapies such as body weight support treadmill training (BWSTT). Treatments currently being researched include the use of implantable cells and biomaterials. Our study investigated the changes in locomotive gait and range of motion via a combinational treatment using a bioengineered scaffold [poly (N-isopropyl acrylamide) polyethylene glycol (PNIPAAm-g-PEG) with BDNF and NT-3] and rehabilitation training using BWSTT in a clinically relevant contusion SCI animal model. Five different groups of animals (Sham, Injury, BWSTT, Implant, and Combinational) were tested on a treadmill with BWSTT at three different BWS (75%, 65%, and 55%) and two different speeds (7 cm/s and 10 cm/s). Using three motion capture cameras, kinematic data were acquired and analyzed to study functional recovery in these groups. Our results show some kinematic recovery in the Combination therapy and BWSTT animals. Step height, length, and number of steps were significantly higher in these groups of animals. The obtained data warrant further studies that aim to investigate the efficacy of different biomaterial implants and combinational therapies.

Comments

The author has licensed this work under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

Share

COinS