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Special Seminar - Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Strategies for Engineering Neural Interfaces and Neural Repair
Date: March 17, 2010
Time: 12:30 PM
Location: Bossone Research Enterprise Center, Room: 709

Speaker(s):
Yinghui Zhong, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH

Details:
Implantable neural prostheses can have significant implications for the treatment of a wide variety of sensory and movement disorders. However, the long-term performance of the implanted neural prostheses is compromised by the formation of glial scar around these devices, which is a typical consequence of the inflammatory tissue reaction to implantation-induced injury in the CNS. The glial scar is inhibitory to neurons and forms a barrier between the electrodes and neurons. We developed a novel biomaterial-based drug delivery system for neural prostheses to reduce the inflammatory tissue response and improve long-term functional recording. This system enabled sustained release of bioactive agents including proteins, neuropeptide, and small molecule drugs from micron-scale neural prostheses. In vivo study demonstrated that local release of anti-inflammatory agent from implanted neural probes effectively attenuated the cellular and molecular inflammatory response, and reduced neuronal loss in the vicinity of the neural probes. This work represents a promising approach to attenuate astroglial scar around the implanted neural prostheses, and improve the long-term recording stability. Further, I will present my research on using neural stem cells for spinal cord repair. I studied the therapeutic potential of a population of neural stem cells discovered in our laboratory in a spinal cord demyelination model. My study demonstrated that these neural stem cells were capable of differentiating into myelin-forming oligodendrocytes in a demyelinated environment without external manipulation, indicating that they have great potential to be used for spinal cord remyelination and functional repair. In concluding this presentation, I will discuss the challenges for engineering neural interfaces and neural repair, and how biomaterials and tissue engineering strategies can help achieve these goals.

Biosketch:

Directions:
The Bossone Research Enterprise Center is located at the corner of 32nd and Market Streets.

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