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Single walled carbon nanotubes in experimental traumatic brain injury
Croatia (CroMSIC) - University of Rijeka, Rijeka
Prof. dr. sc Gordana Župan
Assoc Prof Kristina Pilipović, MD, PhD
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of disabilities and death in young adults worldwide. Astrocytes, the most abundant and diverse neuroglial cells in the central nervous system, are powerful regulators of the brain environment, and extensive evidence points to the significant role of reactive astrocytosis in post-TBI synaptic plasticity and the reorganization of neural circuits. One of the promising approaches for the repair of the traumatically injured brain is the tissue engineering, a technique that focuses on the bridging of the structural gaps in the brain tissue. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) possess many remarkable properties, such as the size, strength, flexibility, conductivity and biocompatibility, which makes them a promising material for numerous biomedical applications.
What is the aim of the project?
Aim of this project is to test the effects of the chemically functionalized single walled CNTs on the survival and some functional properites of primary mouse astrocytes subjected to in vitro TBI.
What techniques and methods are used?
In this project primary astrocyte cell cultures will be prepared from the cortices of the newborn 0-2-days old C57BL/6 mice pups. Astrocyte cultures, grown on flexible bottom cell culture plates, will be subjected to stretch- induced injury by using a device that regulates a pulse of compressed gas to rapidly and transiently deform the silastic membrane and adherent cells in a manner such that the magnitude and the duration of the injury can be precisely controlled. After the in vitro injury, astrocytes will be incubated with culture medium containing chemically functionalized single walled CNTs or with the appropriate control medium. At different time points after the stretch- injury, cells will be collected for the western blotting analyses or prepared for the immunocytofluorescence examination. Using the western blotting method, expressions of different proteins of interest will be determined. Immunocytofluorescence will be used to detect the expression of GFAP, astrocytic marker, and thus establish if there are any significant post-injury and post-treatment morphological changes of the cultured cells.
What is the role of the student?
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will learn how to prepare and maintain primary astrocyte cell cultures prepared from the cortices of mice pups which will be further subjected to in vitro injury. Furthermore, the student will learn how to perform the western blotting and the immunocytofluorescence analyses. The student will also learn how to perform microscopy and upon finalizing the research, how to analyze and prepare a scientific report, based on the results provided by the laboratory work.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
All the theoretical teaching will be provided by the student’s mentor for the project, Assoc Prof Kristina Pilipović, in a form of weekly meetings and reports.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation - The student will prepare a scientific report - No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Subjects passed: chemistry/biochemistry, biology, histology, physiology/neurophysiology
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Gottipati MK; Kalinina I; Bekyarova E; Haddon RC; Parpura V. Chemically functionalized water-soluble single-walled carbon nanotubes modulate morpho- functional characteristics of astrocytes. Nano Lett. 2012;12(9):4742–7
- Gottipati MK; Samuelson JJ; Kalinina I; Bekyarova E; Haddon RC; Parpura V. Chemically functionalized single- walled carbon nanotube films modulate the morpho- functional and proliferative characteristics of astrocytes. Nano Lett. 2013;13(9):4387–92
- Župan Ž; Pilipović K; Dangubić B; Frković V; Šustić A; Župan G. Effects of enoxaparin in the rat hippocampus following traumatic brain injury. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2011;35(8):1846–56
- Pilipović K; Župan Ž; Dolenec P; Mršić-Pelčić J; Župan G. A single dose of PPARγ agonist pioglitazone reduces cortical oxidative damage and microglial reaction following lateral fluid percussion brain injury in rats. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2015;59:8–20
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