Modeling the functional repair of nervous tissue in spinal cord injury

Sara M. Mantila, Jon J. Camp, Aaron J. Krych, Richard A. Robb

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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 growth, and delivery of signaling molecules necessary to facilitate regeneration. In our preliminary study, regeneration in the rat's spinal cord was modeled in three dimensions utilizing image processing software developed in the Biomedical Imaging Resource at Mayo Clinic. 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-499
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
EventProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging 2004 - Medical Imaging: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Display - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 15 2004Feb 17 2004


  • Analyze
  • Axon
  • Image restoration
  • Image segmentation
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Neuroscience
  • Scaffold
  • Spinal cord injury (SCI)
  • Volume registration
  • Volume rendering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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