Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department



Simionescu, Dan

Committee Member

Nelson, Jr. , Alfred

Committee Member

Mercuri , Jeremy

Committee Member

Webb , Ken


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is statistically responsible for 1 in every 19 deaths of American citizens.5 Stroke is the leading cause of permanent disability due to the fact that it compromises both cellular and tissue components of the brain, leading to the formation of a physical void within the tissue. Current research approaches address the cellular component by injecting stem cells into this void; however, extremely low cell engraftment, high injected cell death, and overall no matrix regeneration are observed. Additionally, these stem cells do not remain committed to a neural lineage. We propose to overcome these obstacles by incorporating a tissue engineered niche matrix component to the delivery of such stem cells. We hypothesize the implantation of this construct will lead to brain regeneration with complete sensory and motor functional recovery. Niche neural constructs were successfully created and characterized in vitro. In addition to maintaining and supporting the life of induced neural-like cells, seeding HADSCs onto these scaffolds yielded spontaneous differentiation and overall extended cell viability. After implantation into MCAO stroke-afflicted rats for 4 weeks, rats treated with niche neural constructs showed significant recovery when compared to stroked controls (P