Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents a major treatment challenge in both civilian and military medicine; on the cellular level, its mechanisms are poorly understood. As a method to study the dysfunctional repair mechanisms following injury, laser induced shock waves (LIS) are a useful way to create highly precise, well characterized mechanical forces. We present a simple model for TBI using laser induced shock waves as a model for damage. Our objective is to develop an understanding of the processes responsible for neuronal death, the ways in which we can manipulate these processes to improve cell survival and repair, and the importance of these processes at different levels of biological organization. The physics of shock wave creation has been modeled and can be used to calculate forces acting on individual neurons. By ensuring that the impulse is in the same regime as that occurring in practical TBI, the LIS model can ensure that in vitro conditions and damage are similar to those experienced in TBI. This model will allow for the study of the biochemical response of neurons to mechanical stresses, and can be combined with microfluidic systems for cell growth in order to better isolate areas of damage.
A. Selfridge, D. Preece, V. Gomez, L. Z. Shi, and M. W. Berns, "A model for traumatic brain injury using laser induced shockwaves," Proc. SPIE 9548, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XII, 95480P (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 10, 2015; Published: 25 August 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2189724.
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