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Proceedings Paper

In vitro and in vivo analysis and characterization of engineered spinal neural implants (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Erez Shor; Shy Shoham; Shulamit Levenberg
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Paper Abstract

Spinal cord injury is a devastating medical condition. Recent developments in pre-clinical and clinical research have started to yield neural implants inducing functional recovery after spinal cord transection injury. However, the functional performance of the transplants was assessed using histology and behavioral experiments which are unable to study cell dynamics and the therapeutic response. Here, we use neurophotonic tools and optogenetic probes to investigate cellular level morphology and activity characteristics of neural implants over time at the cellular level. These methods were used in-vitro and in-vivo, in a mouse spinal cord injury implant model. Following previous attempts to induce recovery after spinal cord injury, we engineered a pre-vascularized implant to obtain better functional performance. To image network activity of a construct implanted in a mouse spinal cord, we transfected the implant to express GCaMP6 calcium activity indicators and implanted these constructs under a spinal cord chamber enabling 2-photon chronic in vivo neural activity imaging. Activity and morphology analysis image processing software was developed to automatically quantify the behavior of the neural and vascular networks. Our experimental results and analyses demonstrate that vascularized and non-vascularized constructs exhibit very different morphologic and activity patterns at the cellular level. This work enables further optimization of neural implants and also provides valuable tools for continuous cellular level monitoring and evaluation of transplants designed for various neurodegenerative disease models.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 April 2016
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 9690, Clinical and Translational Neurophotonics; Neural Imaging and Sensing; and Optogenetics and Optical Manipulation, 96901K (26 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2213904
Show Author Affiliations
Erez Shor, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Israel)
Shy Shoham, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Israel)
Shulamit Levenberg, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Israel)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9690:
Clinical and Translational Neurophotonics; Neural Imaging and Sensing; and Optogenetics and Optical Manipulation
Steen J. Madsen; E. Duco Jansen; Samarendra K. Mohanty; Nitish V. Thakor; Qingming Luo; Victor X. D. Yang, Editor(s)

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