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Department of

Pharmacology & Systems Physiology 

Photo of  Sarah Pixley, PhD

Sarah Pixley, PhD

Associate Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology

Education/Credentials
  • A.B.: Smith College
  • M.S.: University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Ph.D.: University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)

Research/Clinical Interests

The Pixley lab is working on identifying means of repairing damaged nervous and other tissues and our current focus is on using a promising biomaterial, magnesium, in both metallic and ionic form. Magnesium metal has attracted more attention recently because it is bioresorbable an implant material, and the most common usage has been to fix broken bones. But our lab is interested in how nerves could be guided across injury gaps along magnesium wires, which would then safely disappear as they resorb, releasing magnesium ions. We are exploring this in a rat model of peripheral nerve injury. Our second interest in magnesium is that magnesium ions are known to provide neuroprotection after brain injury. A significant clinical issue is that, in humans, raising the level of magnesium ions in the blood does not appear to raise levels at a brain injury site. We are therefore working with engineers to make new delivery systems for magnesium ions, and we will explore this in collaboration with a lab that works with a rodent traumatic brain injury model. Finally, we are looking at the healing effects of magnesium metal on skin wound healing. Thus, overall, we are exploring multiple ways to make use of the intriguingly beneficial properties of magnesium in soft tissue repair and regeneration.

Contact Information
  • Office: MSB 4206A
  • Dept. of Pharmacology & Systems Physiology
  • 231 Albert Sabin Way
  • Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0576
  • Office (513)558-6086
  • Fax (513)558-5738
  • Email sarah.pixley@uc.edu

Peer Reviewed Publications

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Griebel, Adam J; Schaffer, Jeremy E; Hopkins, Tracy M; Alghalayini, Alaa; Mkorombindo, Tinomudaishe; Ojo, Kolade O; Xu, Zhigang; Little, Kevin J; Pixley, Sarah K 2018. An in vitro and in vivo characterization of fine WE43B magnesium wire with varied thermomechanical processing conditions Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part B, Applied Biomaterials, 106 5, 1987-1997

Hopkins, Tracy M; Little, Kevin J; Vennemeyer, John J; Triozzi, Jefferson L; Turgeon, Michael K; Heilman, Alexander M; Minteer, D; Marra, K; Hom, David B; Pixley, Sarah K 2017. Short and long gap peripheral nerve repair with magnesium metal filaments. Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A, 105 11, 3148-3158

Pixley, Sarah K; Hopkins, Tracy M; Little, Kevin J; Hom, David B 2016. Evaluation of peripheral nerve regeneration through biomaterial conduits via micro-CT imaging. Laryngoscope investigative otolaryngology, 1 6, 185-190

Hopkins, Tracy M; Heilman, Alexander M; Liggett, James A; LaSance, Kathleen; Little, Kevin J; Hom, David B; Minteer, Danielle M; Marra, Kacey G; Pixley, Sarah K 2015. Combining micro-computed tomography with histology to analyze biomedical implants for peripheral nerve repair. Journal of neuroscience methods, 255 , 122-30

Vennemeyer, J J; Hopkins, T; Hershcovitch, M; Little, K D; Hagen, M C; Minteer, D; Hom, D B; Marra, K; Pixley, S K 2015. Initial observations on using magnesium metal in peripheral nerve repair. Journal of biomaterials applications, 29 8, 1145-54

Vennemeyer, John J; Hopkins, Tracy; Kuhlmann, Julia; Heineman, William R; Pixley, Sarah K 2014. Effects of elevated magnesium and substrate on neuronal numbers and neurite outgrowth of neural stem/progenitor cells in vitro Neuroscience Research, 84 , 72-78

Yun, Y, Pixley, S, Cui, XT, Dong, Z, Collins, B, Shanov, V, Ko, S, Pai, D, Yarmolenko, S, Schulz, MJ, Sankar, J. 2012. Carbon nanomaterials: from therapeutics to regenerative medicine Journal of Nanomedicine and Biotherapeutics Discovery, 2 , 1

Tong, J., Mannea, E., Aimé, P., Pfluger, P.T., Yi, C.-X., Castaneda, T.R., Davis, H.W., Ren, X., Pixley, S., Benoit, S., Julliard, K., Woods, S.C., Horvath, T.L., Sleeman, M.M., D'Alessio, D., Obici, S., Frank, R., Tschöp, M.H.. 2011. Ghrelin enhances olfactory sensitivity and exploratory sniffing in rodents and humans Journal of Neuroscience, 31 15, 5841–5846

Hopkins T, Vennemeyer J, Jayasinghe C, Shanov V + Pixley S 2010. Carbon nanotube ribbon and thread support attachment and differentiation of neural stem cells NanoLife, 1 1-2, 89-97

Nasrallah, Henry A; Hopkins, Tracy; Pixley, Sarah K 2010. Differential effects of antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs on neurogenic regions in rats. Brain research, 1354 , 23-9

Schulz MJ, Doepke A, Guo X, Kuhlmann J, Halsall B, Heineman W, Dong Z, Tan Z, Xue D, Lee N, Yun Y, Liu Y, Hurd D, Shanov V, Rai D, Witte F, Kumar D, Yarmolenko S, Pixley SK, Hopkins T, Jayasinghe C, Sundaramurthy S 2010. Responsive biosensors for biodegradable magnesium implants ASME Intl Mech Eng Congress & Expo Proc, 14 , 109-116

Loftspring, M C; Smanik, J; Gardner, C; Pixley, S K 2008. Selective gray matter staining of human brain slices: optimized use of cadaver materials. Biotechnic & histochemistry : official publication of the Biological Stain Commission, 83 3, 173-7

Ferrari, Carina C; Johnson, Brett A; Leon, Michael; Pixley, Sarah K 2003. Spatiotemporal distribution of the insulin-like growth factor receptor in the rat olfactory bulb Neurochemical research, 28 1, 29-43

McEntire, J K; Pixley, S K 2000. Olfactory receptor neurons in partially purified epithelial cell cultures: comparison of techniques for partial purification and identification of insulin as an important survival factor. Chemical senses, 25 1, 93-101

Koster, N L; Norman, A B; Richtand, N M; Nickell, W T; Puche, A C; Pixley, S K; Shipley, M T 1999. Olfactory receptor neurons express D2 dopamine receptors. The Journal of comparative neurology, 411 4, 666-73

Pixley, S K; Dangoria, N S; Odoms, K K; Hastings, L 1998. Effects of insulin-like growth factor 1 on olfactory neurogenesis in vivo and in vitro. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 855 , 244-7

Grill, R J; Pixley, S K 1997. In vitro generation of adult rat olfactory sensory neurons and regulation of maturation by coculture with CNS tissues. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 17 9, 3120-7

Pixley, S K; Farbman, A I; Menco, B P 1997. Monoclonal antibody marker for olfactory sustentacular cell microvilli. The Anatomical record, 248 3, 307-21

Szucsik, J C; Witte, D P; Li, H; Pixley, S K; Small, K M; Potter, S S 1997. Altered forebrain and hindbrain development in mice mutant for the Gsh-2 homeobox gene. Developmental biology, 191 2, 230-42

Pixley, S K 1996. Characterization of olfactory receptor neurons and other cell types in dissociated rat olfactory cell cultures. International journal of developmental neuroscience : the official journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience, 14 7-8, 823-39

Gong, Q; Bailey, M S; Pixley, S K; Ennis, M; Liu, W; Shipley, M T 1994. Localization and regulation of low affinity nerve growth factor receptor expression in the rat olfactory system during development and regeneration. The Journal of comparative neurology, 344 3, 336-48

Lee, V M; Pixley, S K 1994. Age and differentiation-related differences in neuron-specific tubulin immunostaining of olfactory sensory neurons. Brain research. Developmental brain research, 83 2, 209-15

Pixley, S K; Bage, M; Miller, D; Miller, M L; Shi, M; Hastings, L 1994. Olfactory neurons in vitro show phenotypic orientation in epithelial spheres. Neuroreport, 5 5, 543-8

Grill, R J; Pixley, S K 1993. 2-Mercaptoethanol is a survival factor for olfactory, cortical and hippocampal neurons in short-term dissociated cell culture. Brain research, 613 1, 168-72

Lu, S Y; Pixley, S K; Emerich, D F; Lehman, M N; Norman, A B. 1993. Effect of fetal striatal and astrocyte transplants into unilateral excitotoxin-lesioned striatum. Journal of neural transplantation & plasticity, 4 4, 279-87

Crowe, M J; Pixley, S K 1992. Species differences in amphibian olfactory neuron reactivity to a monoclonal antibody. Brain research bulletin, 28 5, 785-8

Pixley, S K 1992. CNS glial cells support in vitro survival, division, and differentiation of dissociated olfactory neuronal progenitor cells. Neuron, 8 6, 1191-204

Pixley, S K 1992. Purified cultures of keratin-positive olfactory epithelial cells: identification of a subset as neuronal supporting (sustentacular) cells. Journal of neuroscience research, 31 4, 693-707

Pixley, S K 1992. The olfactory nerve contains two populations of glia, identified both in vivo and in vitro. Glia, 5 4, 269-84

Crowe, M J; Pixley, S K 1991. Monoclonal antibody to carnosine synthetase identifies a subpopulation of frog olfactory receptor neurons. Brain research, 538 1, 147-51

Pixley, S K; Pun, R Y 1990. Cultured rat olfactory neurons are excitable and respond to odors. Brain research. Developmental brain research, 53 1, 125-30

Pixley, S K; Nieto-Sampedro, M; Cotman, C W 1987. Preferential adhesion of brain astrocytes to laminin and central neurites to astrocytes. Journal of neuroscience research, 18 3, 402-6

Gibbs, R B; Pixley, S K; Cotman, C W 1986. Transplantation of septal neurons maintained in long-term culture. Brain research, 382 2, 409-15

Pixley, S K; Cotman, C W 1986. Laminin supports short-term survival of rat septal neurons in low-density, serum-free cultures. Journal of neuroscience research, 15 1, 1-17

Pixley, S K; de Vellis, J 1984. Transition between immature radial glia and mature astrocytes studied with a monoclonal antibody to vimentin. Brain research, 317 2, 201-9

Pixley, S K; Kobayashi, Y; de Vellis, J 1984. A monoclonal antibody against vimentin: characterization. Brain research, 317 2, 185-99

Pixley, S K; Kobayashi, Y; de Vellis, J 1984. Monoclonal antibody to intermediate filament proteins in astrocytes. Journal of neuroscience research, 12 4, 525-41

Heineman W.; Hopkins T.; Joshi M.; Nahan K.; Ojo K.; Pixley S.; Salunke P.; Shanov V.; Zhang G.; Zhang Z.; Zhao D. 12-01-2016. Conductivity as a Sensor for Monitoring Relative Magnesium Corrosion Rates in Real-time, in Serum-co Electroanalysis, 28 12, 3000-3008

Alvarez N.; Haase M.; Hopkins T.; Kienzle N.; Mast D.; Ochmann T.; Pixley S.; Ruff B.; Schulz M.; Shanov V. 12-01-2014. Polymer coating of carbon nanotube fibers for electric microcables Nanomaterials, 4 4, 879-893

Bange A.; Behbehani M.; Bhattacharya A.; Dong Z.; Halsall H.; Heineman W.; Kang I.; Pixley S.; Schulz M.; Seth G.; Shanov V.; Yarmolenko S.; Yun Y. 12-01-2009. Carbon nanotube smart materials for biology and medicine NanoScience in Biomedicine, , 451-484

Bange A.; Behbehani M.; Brian Halsall H.; Dong Z.; Heineman W.; Jazieh A.; Pixley S.; Schulz M.; Shanov V.; Tu Y.; Wong D.; Yun Y. 12-01-2006. Fabrication and characterization of a multiwall carbon nanotube needle biosensor 2006 6th IEEE Conference on Nanotechnology, IEEE-NANO 2006, 1 , 280-283

Miller M.; Pixley S. 12-01-1993. Cytoarchitecture of cultured olfactory neuroepithelial spheres: the role of olfactory sustentacular Proceedings - Annual Meeting, Microscopy Society of America, , 408-409

Heineman W.; Hopkins T.; Kuhlmann J.; Ojo K.; Pixley S. 10-01-2016. Conductivity Sensor for Real-time Monitoring of Magnesium Corrosion under Cell Culture Conditions Electroanalysis, 28 10, 2522-2532

Alvarez N.; Fialkova S.; Hou G.; Johnson A.; Krishnaswamy A.; Li G.; Li W.; Liu Y.; Pixley S.; Ruff B.; Schulz M.; Shanov V.; Sullivan J.; Sundaram M.; Vemaganti K.; Wang A.; Yarmolenko S. 09-01-2013. New Applications and Techniques for Nanotube Superfiber Development Nanotube Superfiber Materials: Changing Engineering Design, , 33-59

Boyce R.; Curcio J.; Haik K.; Hall A.; Hemmer R.; Henrich-Noack P.; Hopkins T.; Pixley S.; Sabel B.; Schultheis P.; Spaulding R.; Wetzel H. 08-08-2016. Cytotoxicity and apoptotic gene expression in an in vitro model of the blood–brain barrier following Journal of Drug Targeting, 24 7, 635-644

Bange A.; Behbehani M.; Brian Halsall H.; Dong Z.; Heineman W.; Neralla S.; Pixley S.; Schulz M.; Shanov V.; Tu Y.; Yarmolenko S.; Yun Y. 07-20-2006. Carbon nanotube array smart materials Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 6172 ,

Bange A.; Behbehani M.; Dong Z.; Halsall H.; Heineman W.; Jazieh A.; Pixley S.; Schulz M.; Shanov V.; Tu Y.; Wongs D.; Yun Y. 07-01-2007. A carbon nanotube needle biosensor Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 7 7, 2293-2300

Bange A.; Behbehani M.; Bhattacharya A.; Dong Z.; Halsall H.; Heineman W.; Pixley S.; Schulz M.; Shanov V.; Wong D.; Yun Y. 06-01-2006. A nanotube composite microelectrode for monitoring dopamine levels using cyclic voltammetry and diff Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part N: Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanosystems, 220 2, 53-60

Guo X.; Heineman W.; Hopkins T.; Kuhlmann J.; Ojo K.; Pixley S.; Wang T.; Zhang Z. 05-01-2017. Electrochemical Sensors Continuously Monitor Magnesium Biodegradation under Cell Culture Conditions Electroanalysis, 29 5, 1341-1349

Aimé P.; Benoit S.; Castaneda T.; D'Alessio D.; Davis H.; Frank R.; Horvath T.; Julliard K.; Mannea E.; Obici S.; Pfluger P.; Pixley S.; Ren X.; Sleeman M.; Tong J.; Tschöp M.; Woods S.; Yi C. 04-13-2011. Ghrelin enhances olfactory sensitivity and exploratory sniffing in rodents and humans Journal of Neuroscience, 31 15, 5841-5846

Bange A.; Behbehani M.; Bhattacharya A.; Dong Z.; Halsall H.; Heineman W.; Jazieh A.; Pixley S.; Schulz M.; Shanov V.; Tu Y.; Wong D.; Yun Y. 04-10-2007. A nanotube array immunosensor for direct electrochemical detection of antigen-antibody binding Sensors and Actuators, B: Chemical, 123 1, 177-182

Heineman W.; Ojo K.; Pixley S.; Rusinek C.; Zhao D. 04-01-2017. Cathodic Stripping Voltammetric Determination of Cerium Using Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) Electroanalysis, 29 4, 1124-1130

Adhikari U.; An X.; Bhattarai N.; Chavez T.; Hom D.; Hopkins T.; Khanal S.; Little K.; Pixley S.; Rijal N.; Sankar J.; Tatu R. 01-01-2019. Embedding magnesium metallic particles in polycaprolactone nanofiber mesh improves applicability for Acta Biomaterialia, ,

Adhikari U.; An X.; Bhattarai N.; Pixley S.; Sankar J. 01-01-2019. Fabrication of nanofibrous composite meshes incorporating mg metal particles for nerve repair applic Transactions of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Biomaterials and the Annual International Biomaterials Symposium, 40 , 409

Bhattarai N.; Edwards A.; Hopkins T.; Jarvis D.; Pixley S. 01-01-2015. Poly(e-caprolactone)/keratin-based composite nanofibers for biomedical applications Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials, 103 1, 21-30

Borovetz H.; Kumta P.; Lambeth C.; Liles R.; Pai D.; Pixley S.; Roy P.; Sankar J. 01-01-2011. Bootstrapping a new graduate curriculum through an Engineering Research Center ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, ,

Doepke A.; Dong Z.; Guo X.; Halsall B.; Heineman W.; Hopkins T.; Hurd D.; Jayasinghe C.; Kuhlmann J.; Kumar D.; Lee N.; Liu Y.; Pixley S.; Rai D.; Schulz M.; Shanov V.; Sundaramurthy S.; Tan Z.; Witte F.; Xue D.; Yarmolenko S.; Yun Y. 01-01-2010. Responsive biosensors for biodegradable magnesium implants ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings, 14 , 109-116

Fagin J.; Melmed S.; Ong J.; Pixley S.; Slanina S. 01-01-1987. Insulin-like growth factor i gene expression iii gh3 rat pituitary cells: Messenger ribonucleic acid Endocrinology, 120 5, 2037-2043

Melmed S.; Pixley S.; Weiss M. 01-01-1987. IDentification of human growth hormone messenger ribonucleic acid in pituitary adenoma cells by in s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 65 3, 575-580