Nanostructured scaffold for neural tissue regeneration


Walaa Abbas


Neural regeneration treatment after spinal cord injury (SCI) is still unsatisfactory despite the advances made in the field. One of the main challenges in neural tissue engineering is the axonal growth and directionality. Cell and molecular therapies can enhance the axonal attachment and growth. However, axons may be unsuccessful to maintain their native organization and may grow in a disorganized fashion. Nanofiber scaffolds represent a potential solution for the problem of nerve regeneration and axon extension, as they can mimic the neural tissue extra cellular matrix (ECM) and combine the advantages of the combinatorial therapy for nerve injury in SCI cases. In this work, we aimed to fabricate a nanostructured scaffold that can be used as a physical support for maintaining axonal growth and regeneration in the lesion site and provide the suitable environment for axonal extension to reconnect with their target neurons and restore their functional recovery. Characterization techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were done and the material was optimized to mimic the properties of the natural environment of the neural tissue in terms of biological and architectural properties. The results revealed that the material does mimic the properties of the neural tissues and can be considered a regenerative treatment for SCI.


Nanotechnology Program

Degree Name

MS in Nanotechnology

Graduation Date


Submission Date

September 2017

First Advisor

Allam, Nageh

Committee Member 1

El-Sheikh, Salah

Committee Member 2

Ghareeb, Doaa


125 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


First of all, I would like to express my special gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. Nageh Allam for his continuous support during my study and research at the American University in Cairo (AUC). In fact, I would like to deeply thank Dr. Allam for his patience, motivation, and guidance. He is always mentoring me towards reading, searching and being open minded even in different fields of science. I really appreciate all your precious advice and thank you so much for all your dedication, passion, and unconditional support to me and to the EML group. I would like to thank all my professors and instructors who taught me along with my study in the multidisciplinary Nanotechnology Master Program especially Dr. Adham Ramadan as I learned and enjoyed the way of teaching and it helped me in my research work. Also, I would like to thank Dr. Sherine Shawky in Social Research Center (SRC) at the American University in Cairo for her help and support. In fact, I am extremely thankful and grateful to my parents and family for their unconditional love, care and continuous motivation that provided to me. I would like to express my boundless gratitude to my father for his continuous passion and encouragement and being by my side and to the soul of my mother that really believed in me and taught me a lot. I would like to thank my lovely sister and my best friend Wessam Abbas and my brother Adly Abbas for being with me and providing me with their kindness and love. I would like to express my gratitude towards Al Alfi Foundation, especially, Mrs. Nermeen Abou Gazia and Mrs. Neamat Salem and the American University in Cairo for the fellowship and the financial support for my graduate study at AUC. I would like to thank Dr. Ayman Hamouda and his team for accepting me and giving me the opportunity to perform the biological experiments on my materials’ scaffold in his lab in Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, Health Science Center (HSC) in Texas A&M University. Also, I would like to thank Dr. Zakaria Abd El-Mageed and his team, especially Dr. Hamdy, for all their support and cooperation during my visit to Health Science Center (HSC) in Texas A&M University. Dr. Zakaria taught me how to conduct biological experiments at high standard levels and providing me with biological tools besides his valuable advice in the scientific research work. I would also like to thank Dr. Hamed Ali for his support and help in Texas A&M University. In fact, I am really grateful for all Texas A&M people for their help and support during my visit to College of Pharmacy, Health Science Center, Texas A&M University. Special thanks to all my colleagues in EML group for their support and motivation. Special thanks to Basamat, Ahmed Mohy, Ahmed Amer, Aya Maher, Mohamed Salama, Mostafa Mamdouh, Ramadan, Nashaat, Mariam El Gamal and Ali Abdelhafiz for their cooperation during my master studies. Also, I would like to thank my colleagues at the STRC for their valuable technical support to my research work especially Amged Ouf, Ahmed Ghazaly, Ahmed Omaia, and Ehab. I would like to thank my friends especially, Maha Emad, Isra Ali, Ruaa, Noha Samir, Yomna Emad, Salma and Habiba Soliman for the nice times working and studying together. Last but not least, I would like to thank all the members of Egypt Scholars Organization for their support and their courses for scientific research.

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