Nerve strain correlates with structural changes quantified by fourier analysis

Authors

  • James M. Love BS,

    1. Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
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  • Ting-Hsien Chuang PhD,

    1. Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
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  • Richard L. Lieber PhD,

    1. Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
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  • Sameer B. Shah PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
    • Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
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  • This research was supported by grant W81XWH1010773 from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the State of Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund.

Correspondence to: S.B. Shah; e-mail: sbshah@ucsd.edu

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Nerve deformation affects physiological function. Bands of Fontana are an optical manifestation of axonal undulations and may provide a structural indicator of nerve strain. Methods: We developed an automated Fourier-based image processing method to quantify the periodicity of bands of Fontana both in bright field images and in axonal undulations in immunolabeled longitudinal sections. Results: We found a strong linear relationship between applied strain and the frequency of bands of Fontana in rat sciatic nerves (−0.0056 μm⋅%, r2 = 0.829; P < 0.05). This relationship agreed with the observed trend between strain and axonal waviness, calculated from longitudinal sections of sciatic nerves immunolabeled against myelin basic protein. Conclusions: This accurate and objective approach has potential to increase our understanding of structure–function relationships in the nervous system and to guide preservation and enhancement of neural function. Muscle Nerve 48: 433–435, 2013

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