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Animal Model

Myelotomy with intramedullary hemorrhagic necrosis removal (MIHN) as a therapeutic
strategy in a porcine model of traumatic spinal cord injury

The porcine model has been proposed as a large animal model for testing new therapeutic interventions in a species with spinal cord dimensions and physiology like humans. It is hoped that promising interventions developed in this model will have high translational potential for humans. Over the last year and a half, we have collaborated with Dr. Brian Kwon and his research group at the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, who developed a porcine SCI model. With their assistance, we have established their porcine SCI model at the University of Louisville Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (KSCIRC). We have developed a comprehensive set of protocols, including:

  1. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure cord tissue microstructural integrity,
    volume change, lesion size, and perilesional cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow,
  2. Gait Kinematics to measure behavioral outcome by training pigs to walk on
  3. Electromyography (EMG) to measure muscle response,
  4. Cystometric Urodynamic testing to assess bladder and rectum function,
  5. Histology to evaluate the injury volume and the cellular environment of injury site,
    and to label motor fiber tracts.

Our primary aim is to assess the effects of MIHN as a potential treatment for SCI. The benefit(s) and adverse impact(s) of MIHN on axon and cell body sparing, cord edema, injury and cord volumes, CSF flow, neural electrophysiological function and injury histopathology will be determined with comparisons to non-myelotomy injured pigs. Bladder function will be assessed using cystometric urodynamic testing.


Adult NeuroRecovery Program

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Animal Model