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Developing experimental methods for identifying the sites of action of intraspinal microstimulation Open Access


Other title
intraspinal microstimulation
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Christian, Breanne
Supervisor and department
Mushahwar, Vivian (Cell Biology)
Examining committee member and department
Campenot, Bob (Cell Biology)
Todd, Kathryn (Psychiatry)
Krukoff, Teresa (Cell Biology)
Department of Cell Biology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Intraspinal microstimulation (ISMS) is a novel electrical stimulation approach to restore standing and ambulation in people with spinal cord injury. The technique entails inserting an array of microwires into the lumbosacral enlargement of the spinal cord to activate neuronal networks that control locomotion. Additionally, ISMS can be utilized to investigate the organization of these networks. In the present study, experimental methodology was developed to map the distribution of ISMS-activated neurons using immunohistochemistry to label c-Fos, an activity-dependent marker. The influence on c-Fos expression of the following conditions was studied: decerebration, laminectomy, microwire implantation, and ISMS. Data revealed that microwire implantation and decerebration minimally influenced c-Fos, while a laminectomy substantially increased c-Fos expression. Furthermore, results indicated that it is vital to monitor stimulation and adjust stimulus amplitude throughout the duration of stimulation. Using these data, a protocol was established that would aid in mapping the ISMS activated neuronal networks.
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