Dr. Michelle LaPlaca - Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Erin Buckley - Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Christopher Rozell - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
A Preclinical Model of Heterogeneous Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States, but the factors affecting clinical outcomes following TBI are complex. Animal TBI models are widely used, but many design parameters go largely unreported. We evaluate the effects of one such parameter, head support foam type, on injury outcome in rats. We analyzed the injury biomechanics of closed-head controlled cortical impact (CCI) TBI on four foams using an accelerometer and high-speed video, and performed histopathology to evaluate tissue response. Our results confirmed our hypothesis that foam properties can significantly affect injury biomechanics and cellular outcomes, and that more thorough model characterization is important. We also introduce an experiment to study the effects of population heterogeneity on TBI outcomes, and discuss methods to improve reporting and reproducibility.