Ryan L. Anderson

Biomedical Engineering

Ryan Anderson’s enthusiasm for sports and resulting interest in orthopedics led him to his joining Dr. Gupta’s Peripheral Nerve Lab at UCI. Working on creating a spinal cord injury model, he employed a novel surgical procedure to test the behavioral and molecular outcomes following a contusive-type spinal cord injury. For his senior year, he moved on to a new project, which included taking care of a breeding colony, conducting electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, electromicroscopy, and counting G-ratios. Ryan considers his research and volunteer work in an orthopedic clinic to be integral elements of his preparation for an eventual career as a practicing physician.triangle.gif (504 bytes)




The role of decompressing the intra-dural space through a durotomy as a treatment option for acute traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) in the cervical spinal cord has not been explored in an animal model. We sought to determine the role of durotomy and duraplasty in acute cervical SCI and its effects on inflammation, scar formation and functional recovery. Seventy-two adult female Sprague-Dawley rats received: contusion injury alone, contusion injury with durotomy and decompression, or contusion injury with durotomy followed by placement of a dural allograft. Those animals receiving a dural allograft had significantly improved scores in the recovery period relative to other groups. Additionally, immunohistochemical analysis revealed decreased scar formation, cavitation, and inflammatory response in those animals receiving a dural allograft relative to other groups. Lesional volume measurements showed significantly increased cavitation size at four weeks in both the contusion only and durotomy only groups relative to those animals that received a dural allograft following durotomy. Surgical decompression of the intra-dural space after an acute traumatic cervical SCI may be an important new approach to reducing the deficits resulting from the secondary injury and warrants further investigation.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                

Ranjan Gupta

School of Medicine

Our lab focuses on therapeutic neuroscience for clinical conditions from carpal tunnel syndrome to brachial plexus injuries to spinal cord injury. From direct clinical observations in the operating room we develop working hypotheses to improve our understanding and treatment of traumatic neurologic conditions. In this project, we explored the idea of adding a surgical intervention to improve functional outcomes after an acute spinal cord injury. Ryan played an integral role in the project as he facilitated the experiments from animal model creation to functional outcomes assessment to imaging. Through a team approach with surgeons, scientists, and students, we are able to contribute in a meaningful way. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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