Plasmid releasing multiple channel bridges for transgene expression after spinal cord injury

Laura De Laporte, Yang Yang, Marina L. Zelivyanskaya, Brian J. Cummings, Aileen J. Anderson, Lonnie D. Shea*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The regeneration of tissues with complex architectures requires strategies that promote the appropriate cellular processes, and can direct their organization. Plasmid-loaded multiple channel bridges were engineered for spinal cord regeneration with the ability to support and direct cellular processes and promote gene transfer at the injury site. The bridges were manufactured with a gas foaming technique, and had multiple channels with controllable diameter and encapsulated plasmid. Initial studies investigating bridge implantation subcutaneously (SC) indicated transgene expression in vivo for 44 days, with gene expression dependent upon the pore size of the bridge. In the rat spinal cord, bridges implanted into a lateral hemisection supported substantial cell infiltration, aligned cells within the channels, axon growth across the channels, and high levels of transgene expression at the implant site with decreasing levels rostral and caudal. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the transfected cells at the implant site were present in both the pores and channels of the bridge and were mainly identified as Schwann cells, fibroblasts, and macrophages, in descending order of transfection. This synergy between gene delivery and the scaffold architecture may enable the engineering of tissues with complex architectures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-326
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology


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