Timing of Exosome Production on Cell (PC12) Differentiation

Date of Award


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First Reader

Dr. Nathan Reyna

Second Reader

Dr. Joe Jeffers

Third Reader

Dr. B. Allyson Phillips


Exosomes are small vesicles of information that are emitted by cells. They have been shown to play a role in cell growth, communication, and differentiation. We hypothesized that exosomes emitted by differentiated PC12 cells have the capability of differentiating other PC12 cells. Research exploring exosomes' power to differentiate cells into neural phenotypes is a step in the direction of regenerative treatment for diagnoses of spinal cord injuries. The idea of exosomes as a potential regenerative medicine is on the horizon, and the better understanding we have of exosomes the closer we will be to reaching that goal. Spinal cord injuries affect the individual along with their families. A spinal cord injury is a major life event whose effects spread to each family member. This paper explores this dynamic along with the research being done in this field with exosomes. This topic is close to my heart because my brother is a paraplegic. He holds tight to the hope that one day research could lead to him regaining mobility and full hand function. My research may not give him the ability to walk again, but maybe one day a regenerative treatment could that is based on exosomes.

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