Bioeffects on an In Vitro Model by Small-Scale Explosives and Shock Wave Overpressure Impacts

Report No. ARL-TR-8210
Authors: Nicole E Zander, Thuvan Piehler, Rohan Banton, Richard Benjamin
Date/Pages: November 2017; 34 pages
Abstract: Despite many years of research, the effect of blast waves on brain tissues and cells remains incompletely understood. In vitro and in vivo laboratory models have proven useful in delineating some of the biological effects and mechanisms related to damage. We reported here the bioeffects of peak pressure impacts from shock tube and explosive charges on dissociated brain cells (NG108-15 cells), a fusion of mouse neuroblastoma and rat glioma cells. The pressure waves were generated from a shock tube and small-scale open-air explosive charges. The cell plates were submerged under water for the explosive blast condition, while the cell plates remained in air for the shock tube condition. NG108-15 cells were exposed to single or triple shock/blast waves. Compared to sham-treated conditions, cells that were either submerged in a water tank and exposed to a small-scale explosive or placed in the shock tube were found to have altered membrane permeability, intracellular calcium and sodium ion levels, and elevated oxidative stress. In comparing the 2 methods of shock/blast wave exposure, the most significant difference observed was in membrane permeability. NG108-15 cells subjected to blast by a shock tube had 2 to nearly 4 times higher uptake of calcein dye for single and repeated blast compared to those exposed to explosive blast at the same peak pressure. In addition, oxidative stress, and intracellular sodium and calcium ion levels were significantly higher for cells exposed to shock tube blasts compared to live explosive blast. These differences are perhaps related to the larger impulse generated by the shock tube, compared to the blast wave that traversed the cells submerged in the water tank.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: November 1, 2017