Primary Blast Injury Criteria For Animal/Human Tbi Models Using Field Validated Shock Tubes

Project: Research project

Project Details


Exposure to low level blast is a common feature of war zone and frequently results in mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in military and civilian personnel. It is unclear, however, what parameters of the blast and the magnitude of those parameters are injurious to the human brain. Animal studies suggest that the magnitude of blast overpressure is a major component directly related to severity of injury, but the human brain's tolerance to blast is not known. This gap in the knowledge calls for the development of a criterion that can be used to assess a priori the risk of blast TBI. This criterion would provide the ability to assess risk of human TBI from the mechanical parameters of a blast insult.It is also of vital importance to understand the relationship between the risk of TBI and relevant outcome measures. The systematic and unbiased investigation of the neurological and pathological disorders emerging as a consequence of the blast exposure requires that the relationship between the blast parameters and the biomechanical loading to the brain is also known.Currently, there are no reliable or standardized protocols established to test brain pathologies exclusively related to exposure to pure primary blast. In a series of recently published experimental papers supported by computational models, we laid the foundation for a reliable and repeatable rodent model of blast TBI. Moreover, our research interest is also motivated by lack of adequate and systematic studies of the effect of isolated primary blast on the human brain. We propose the comprehensive characterization of bTBI in a rodent model and develop an inter-species traNational Science Foundation er function to relate injury conditions between rat and human. This proposal extends our previous work and sets the ultimate goal to develop a human Blast Injury Criterion (BIC). Our major hypothesis is that the both acute and chronic damage to the brain depends on the magnitude and duration of biomechanical loading at the local level of the tissues irrespective of the species.Using unique capabilities of our patented shock tube, we will establish a master dose-response curve relating mortality rate as a function of peak overpressure and impulse. This curve, accompanied by a battery of tests characterizing the brain pathologies at different overpressure levels, will determine a variety of design criteria for the US Army. Our shock tube will be made available to various DEnvironmental Protection Agencyrtment of Defense (DoD) organizations along with animal tissues, so that the gains made by different groups can be synergized. We intend to have meaningful collaborations with ongoing DoD researchers through graduate students' exchange. Results of the proposed research effort will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at conferences focused on neurotrauma.
Effective start/end date8/15/158/14/19


  • Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs


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