Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Aravamudhan, Shyam

Abstract

Various techniques and methods have been studied and developed to aid nerve regeneration and repairing nerve injuries. Among all, nerve grafting is the gold standard for bridging the gap between the injured nerve stumps. Despite the advantages of this technique, there are also various drawbacks that have encouraged the exploration of alternative, less invasive methods for promoting nerve regeneration. In this thesis, we have fabricated soft micro-channels for cell culturing and migration studies which could act as an interface capable of long-term, reliable, and high-resolution stimulation device for nerve regeneration. Micro-channels fabrication is performed using a ombination of photolithography technique and physical vapor deposition (PVD) methods. Initially, the surfaces of the micro-channels are treated with oxygen plasma to convert the surface of PDMS from hydrophobic to hydrophilic and to further provide an optimal environment for cells to adhere and grow. Next, in vitro studies were performed on the fabricated micro-channels to demonstrate feasibility of the platform to promote adherence and growth of PC12 cells (cell line derived from a pheochromocytomas of the rat adrenal medulla).

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