Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Biomedical Engineering

Advisor

Wolchok, Jeffrey

Reader

Muldoon, Timothy

Second Reader

Rajaram, Narasimhan

Abstract

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is an alteration of brain pathology following damage of the central nervous system (CNS) by an external force. In the CNS, glial scar formation often occurs following TBI, and astrocytes are widely believed to contribute to this scar formation. While the role of astrocytes in extracellular matrix (ECM) production is known, the exact mechanism(s) for this event remain unclear. One possible method is the activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4). TRPV4 is a channel protein found in the astrocyte membrane which has been shown to generate intracellular calcium ions following mechanical stimulation. Previous research has shown activation of TRPV4 to increase collagen content in chondrocytes. This research compared mouse astrocyte matrix composition following TRPV4 biochemical activation/inactivation through rheological analysis techniques. Sample storage modulus values were shown to significantly increase following TRPV4 activation possibly due to an increase in astrocyte ECM production.