Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.



Degree Program

JB Speed School of Engineering

Committee Chair

Magnuson, David

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Kopechek, Jonathan

Committee Member

Roussel, Thomas

Author's Keywords

Spinal Cord; Microbubble Procedure; Inflammatory Response; blood spinal cord barrier


The purpose of this experiment is to explore the inflammatory effects of focused ultrasound paired with intravenously delivered microbubbles when used in the lumbar spinal cord. There are currently very few pharmaceuticals that can successfully enter the blood spinal cord barrier (BSCB). This technique used at the lumbar enlargement might allow targeted treatment of pathologies involving the spinal cord.

To test the possible inflammatory response of this technique, an animal experiment was performed. 15 animals were given a T12 laminectomy and allowed to fully recover. Once recovered, all animals received FUS+MB at L2 and were euthanized in groups of five at three different time points. The spinal cord segments were dissected and used for quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). 10 different inflammatory primers were used to explore different types of inflammatory cells that may have been active at the time the animals were euthanized.

We found that there is minimal change in the qPCR data suggesting that there is little to no inflammatory response elicited by this procedure. Although these results are preliminary, and more tests must be done to investigate the full effects of this technique, this study provides a promising method to temporarily permeabilize the BSCB.