Engineering a high throughput axon injury system

George C. Magou, Yi Guo, Mridusmita Choudhury, Linda Chen, Nicholae Hususan, Stephanie Masotti, Bryan J. Pfister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Several key biological mechanisms of traumatic injury to axons have been elucidated using in vitro stretch injury models. These models, however, are based on the experimentation of single cultures keeping productivity slow. Indeed, low yield has hindered important and well-founded investigations requiring high throughput methods such as proteomic analyses. To meet this need, we engineered a multi-well high throughput injury device to accelerate and accommodate the next generation of traumatic brain injury research. This modular system stretch injures neuronal cultures in either a 24-well culture plate format or 6 individual wells simultaneously. Custom software control allows the user to accurately program the pressure pulse parameters to achieve the desired substrate deformation and injury parameters. Analysis of the pressure waveforms showed that peak pressure was linearly related to input pressure and valve open times and that the 6- and 24-well modules displayed rise times, peak pressures, and decays with extremely small standard deviations. Data also confirmed that the pressure pulse was distributed evenly throughout the pressure chambers and therefore to each injury well. Importantly, the relationship between substrate deformation and applied pressure was consistent among the multiple wells and displayed a predictable linear behavior in each module. These data confirm that this multi-well system performs as well as currently used stretch injury devices and can undertake high throughput studies that are needed across the field of neurotrauma research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2203-2218
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


  • diffuse axonal injury
  • high throughput
  • in vitro model
  • stretch injury
  • traumatic axonal injury


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