Diffusion tensor imaging predicting neurological repair of spinal cord injury with transplanting collagen/chitosan scaffold binding bFGF

  • Xiao-Yin Liu
  • Jun Liang
  • Yi Wang
  • Lin Zhong
  • Chang-Yu Zhao
  • Meng-Guang Wei
  • Jing-Jing Wang
  • Xiao-Zhe Sun
  • Ke-Qiang Wang
  • Jing-Hao Duan
  • Chong Chen
  • Yue Tu
  • Sai Zhang
  • Dong MingEmail author
  • Xiao-Hong LiEmail author
Tissue Engineering Constructs and Cell Substrates Original Research
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Tissue Engineering Constructs and Cell Substrates


Prognosis and treatment evaluation of spinal cord injury (SCI) are still in the long-term research stage. Prognostic factors for SCI treatment need effective biomarker to assess therapeutic effect. Quantitative diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) may become a potential indicators for assessing SCI repair. However, its correlation with the results of locomotor function recovery and tissue repair has not been carefully studied. The aim of this study was to use quantitative DTI to predict neurological repair of SCI with transplanting collagen/chitosan scaffold binding basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). To achieve our research goals, T10 complete transection SCI model was established. Then collagen/chitosan mixture adsorbed with bFGF (CCS/bFGF) were implanted into rats with SCI. At 8 weeks after modeling, implanting CCS/bFGF demonstrated more significant improvements in locomotor function according to Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) score, inclined-grid climbing test, and electrophysiological examinations. DTI was carried out to evaluate the repair of axons by diffusion tensor tractgraphy (DTT), fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), a numerical measure of relative white matter from the rostral to the caudal. Parallel to locomotor function recovery, the CCS/bFGF group could significantly promote the regeneration of nerve fibers tracts according to DTT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Bielschowsky’s silver staining and immunofluorescence staining. Positive correlations between imaging and locomotor function or histology were found at all locations from the rostral to the caudal (P < 0.0001). These results demonstrated that DTI might be used as an effective predictor for evaluating neurological repair after SCI in experimental trails and clinical cases.



This work was supported by the National Nature Scientific Fund of China (81771352, 81971782, 81671222, 81771350, 81772018, 81801240) and the Nature Scientific Fund of Tianjin (18JCJQJC48500, 15ZXLCSY00040, 16ZXHLSY00120).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academy of Medical Engineering and Translational MedicineTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Tianjin Key Laboratory of Neurotrauma Repair, Pingjin Hospital Brain CenterCharacteristic Medical Center of PAPFTianjinChina
  3. 3.Tianjin Medical UniversityTianjinChina
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyTianjin Hospital of TianjinTianjinChina
  5. 5.Second Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical UniversityKunmingChina

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