Non-invasive Monitoring of Degradation of Poly (lactide-co-glycolide) Hollow Fiber Channel for Recovery of Spinal Cord Injury Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Title: Non-invasive Monitoring of Degradation of Poly (lactide-co-glycolide) Hollow Fiber Channel for Recovery of Spinal Cord Injury Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Authors: Shahabi, Sagedeh Sadat
Date: 2012
Abstract: Spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to axonal damage and limits the ability of the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. Several bioengineered approaches have been developed for the recovery of SCI. Among these techniques, degradable guidance tubes have shown promising results. However, design of nerve guide tubes requires several design considerations and has been a significant challenge. To assess the efficacy of a prototypical implanted nerve guide tubes, it is essential to perform continuous monitoring. In this respect, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most reliable imaging techniques as it offers the ability to achieve extraordinary high temporal and spatial resolution in addition to its non-invasive features. In spite of the excellent image quality of non-enhanced MRI various types of contrast agents have been developed to further enhance the contrast and allow improved visualization. The MRI contrast agents principally work by shortening the T1 or T2 relaxation times of protons located nearby. The presented study was intended to evaluate the in vitro degradation of the nerve guide tubes made of poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA). PLGA tubes incorporated with different concentrations of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) were scanned by MRI 3T on weekly basis during the degradation period. Spin-echo (SE) sequence with various echo times (TEs) ranged from 13.3 to 314.4 msec was applied. T2 mapping was computed using in-house algorithm developed in Matlab. Least square fit was used to find the slope of the decay curve by plotting log intensity on the y-axis and echo time on the x-axis. The average T2 values were calculated. Mass loss and water uptake of the degrading tubes were also measured weekly. Moreover, the micro-structural changes of the tubes were investigated using the scanning electron microscope (SEM). The MRI results showed that the concentration of SPIO affects the signal intensity of the T2 weighted images reducing the T2 relaxation time value. Accordingly, a linear correlation between SPIO concentration and T2 relaxation time was found. At the beginning of degradation, the SPIO nanoparticles were trapped within the polymeric network. Therefore, water penetration was the predominant factor affecting the T2 relaxation times. At week 5, a significant mass loss was observed. From this stage onwards, the trapped SPIO were released from the polymeric network increasing T2 relaxation time dramatically. According to SEM images, the size of the pores in PLGA guide tubes was increased with the degradation. Approaching the end of degradation, shrinkage of the tubes was observed and the degraded nerve guide tubes were shown to be collapsed. Similar shape variation was observed in T2 weighted MR images. In summary, this study provided an approach to non-invasive monitoring of degradation behavior of nerve guide tubes using contrast enhancement. The developed technique is of great importance since it opened an insight to non-invasive monitoring of tissue engineered scaffolds for in vivo studies.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -