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Regenerative capacity of neural tissue scales with changes in tissue mechanics post injury.

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

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Authors

Carnicer-Lombarte, Alejandro 
Barone, Damiano G 
Malliaras, George G 
Fawcett, James W 

Abstract

Spinal cord injuries have devastating consequences for humans, as mammalian neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) cannot regenerate. In the peripheral nervous system (PNS), however, neurons may regenerate to restore lost function following injury. While mammalian CNS tissue softens after injury, how PNS tissue mechanics changes in response to mechanical trauma is currently poorly understood. Here we characterised mechanical rat nerve tissue properties before and after in vivo crush and transection injuries using atomic force microscopy-based indentation measurements. Unlike CNS tissue, PNS tissue significantly stiffened after both types of tissue damage. This nerve tissue stiffening strongly correlated with an increase in collagen I levels. Schwann cells, which crucially support PNS regeneration, became more motile and proliferative on stiffer substrates in vitro, suggesting that changes in tissue stiffness may play a key role in facilitating or impeding nervous system regeneration.

Description

Keywords

Crush injury, Nerve compartments, Nerve injury, Nerve stiffness, Schwann cells, Tissue mechanics, Humans, Rats, Animals, Central Nervous System, Schwann Cells, Neurons, Nerve Tissue, Spinal Cord Injuries, Nerve Regeneration, Axons, Mammals

Journal Title

Biomaterials

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0142-9612
1878-5905

Volume Title

Publisher

Elsevier BV
Sponsorship
Medical Research Council (G1100312)
European Research Council (772426)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/N006402/1)
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