5 May 2004 Modeling the functional repair of nervous tissue in spinal cord injury
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Functional repair of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the most challenging goals in modern medicine. The annual incidence of SCI in the United States is approximately 11,000 new cases. The prevalence of people in the U.S. currently living with SCI is approximately 200,000. Exploring and understanding nerve regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) is a critical first step in attempting to reverse the devastating consequences of SCI. At Mayo Clinic, a preliminary study of implants in the transected rat spinal cord model demonstrates potential for promoting axon regeneration. In collaborative research between neuroscientists and bioengineers, this procedure holds promise for solving two critical aspects of axon repair-providing a resorbable structural scaffold to direct focused axon repair, and delivery of relevant signaling molecules necessary to facilitate regeneration. In our preliminary study, regeneration in the rat's spinal cord was modeled in three dimensions utilizing an image processing software system developed in the Biomedical Imaging Resource at Mayo Clinic. Advanced methods for image registration, segmentation, and rendering were used. The raw images were collected at three different magnifications. After image processing the individual channels in the scaffold, axon bundles, and macrophages could be identified. Several axon bundles could be visualized and traced through the entire volume, suggesting axonal growth throughout the length of the scaffold. Such information could potentially allow researchers and physicians to better understand and improve the nerve regeneration process for individuals with SCI.
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Sara M. Mantila, Sara M. Mantila, Jon J. Camp, Jon J. Camp, Aaron J. Krych, Aaron J. Krych, Richard A. Robb, Richard A. Robb, } "Modeling the functional repair of nervous tissue in spinal cord injury", Proc. SPIE 5367, Medical Imaging 2004: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Display, (5 May 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.534086; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.534086

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