Erin Baker Lavik

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To better direct repair following spinal cord injury (SCI), we designed an implant modeled after the intact spinal cord consisting of a multicomponent polymer scaffold seeded with neural stem cells. Implantation of the scaffold-neural stem cells unit into an adult rat hemisection model of SCI promoted long-term improvement in function (persistent for 1 year(More)
Human embryonic stem (hES) cells hold promise as an unlimited source of cells for transplantation therapies. However, control of their proliferation and differentiation into complex, viable 3D tissues is challenging. Here we examine the use of biodegradable polymer scaffolds for promoting hES cell growth and differentiation and formation of 3D structures.(More)
Retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) are self-renewing cells capable of differentiating into the different retinal cell types including photoreceptors, and they have shown promise as a source of replacement cells in experimental models of retinal degeneration. We hypothesized that a biodegradable polymer scaffold could deliver these cells to the subretinal space(More)
Retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) are multipotent central nervous system precursors that give rise to all of the cell types of the retina during development. Several groups have reported that mammalian RPCs can be isolated and expanded in culture and can differentiate into retinal neurons upon grafting to the mature, diseased eye. However, cell delivery and(More)
Neural stem cells (NSCs) exist in vascularized niches. Although there has been ample evidence supporting a role for endothelial cell-derived soluble factors as modulators of neural stem cell self-renewal and neuronal differentiation there is a paucity of data reported on neural stem cell modulation of endothelial cell behavior. We show that co-culture of(More)
Several mechanisms of retina degeneration result in the deterioration of the outer retina and can lead to blindness. Currently, with the exception of anti-angiogenic treatments for wet age-related macular degeneration, there are no treatments that can restore lost vision. There is evidence that photoreceptors and embryonic retinal tissue, transplanted to(More)
Angiogenesis precedes recovery following spinal cord injury and its extent correlates with neural regeneration, suggesting that angiogenesis may play a role in repair. An important precondition for studying the role of angiogenesis is the ability to induce it in a controlled manner. Previously, we showed that a coculture of endothelial cells (ECs) and(More)
This study aims to promote long-term retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival in a spontaneous glaucoma model by injecting slow-release Poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microspheres containing glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) into the vitreous. Microspheres (1 microL) suspended in PBS were injected in ipsilateral eyes while contralateral(More)
Neural stem cells (NSCs) have the potential to replace the major cell types of the central nervous system (CNS) and may be important in therapies for injuries to and diseases of the CNS. However, for such treatments to be safe and successful, NSCs must survive and differentiate appropriately following transplantation. A number of polymer scaffolds have(More)
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in neuroprotection and repair, but long-term delivery from polymer systems has been challenging. We investigated the role the chemistry of the polymer played in loading and delivery of BDNF via microspheres, which are suitable for minimally invasive administration. We synthesized polymers(More)