Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Williams,Lakiesha N

Committee Member

Elder, Steven H (advisor)

Committee Member

Shores, Andy

Committee Member

Priddy, Lauren

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Biomedical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Damage to dura mater may occur during intracranial or spinal surgeries, which can result in cerebrospinal fluid leakage as well as other potentially fatal physiological changes. As a result, biological scaffolds derived from xenogeneic materials are typically used to repair and regenerate dura mater post intracranial or spinal surgeries. In this study we explore the mechanics, structure, and immunological capacity of xenogeneic dura mater to be considered as a replacement for human dura. A comparative analysis is done between native porcine dura and a commercially available bovine collagen-based dura graft. Native porcine dura mater was decellularized and subjected to mechanical and histological analysis. Our decellularized porcine dura was able to maintain the overall morphological/structural integrity and held an increased extensibility without sacrificing strength, which provides a solid foundation as a functional grafting material. The histological observations showed that the orientation of fibers was maintained after decellularization. We investigated the biocompatibility of native and decellularized porcine dura reseeded with fibroblast cells for in vitro study. Cell proliferation, cell viability, and mechanical properties of dural grafts were evaluated post reseeding on days 3, 7, and 14. Live-dead staining and resazurin salts quantified cell viability and cell proliferation, respectively. This in vitro study showed that the acellular porcine dural graft provided a favorable environment for rat fibroblast cell infiltration. The results of micro indentation testing show that the cell-seeded porcine dural graft provides a favorable environment for rat fibroblast cell infiltration. The mechanics and biocompatibility results provide promising insight for the potential use of porcine dura in future cranial dura mater graft applications. Lastly, a subcutaneous in vivo study of dura graft compared with the market available Lyoplant®. Grafts were evaluated for inflammation by evaluating macrophage and leukocyte invasion on 3, 7, and 14 days post implantation. Histological analysis of both implants revealed macrophage (and leukocyte infiltration, supporting reabsorption, and thus encouraging the regeneration at 14 days. Cell markers also revealed that inflammation and leukocytes decreased as the number of days increased. Future work will involve a long-term subcutaneous implantation up to 30 days and 60 days to determine the long-term immune response.