Preliminary Study of Realistic Blast Impact on Cultured Brain Slices

Report No. ARL-TR-7197
Authors: Thuvan Piehler; Rohan Banton; Lars Piehler; Richard Benjamin; Ray Sparks; Marquitta Smith; Ben A Bahr
Date/Pages: April 2015; 36 pages
Abstract: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is frequently caused by blasts that trigger a series of neuronal biochemical changes. Diagnosis of mild TBI caused by blast is challenging, since the damage to brain tissue progresses slowly over time. It is largely unknown how structural damage at tissue level from blast loading impact affects functional activity at variable time scales after the TBI event. This report describes the experimental approach and preliminary results of our study of cultured hippocampal brain slices impacted by explosively generated blast waves with single or multiple impacts in water. The initial results showed that a single blast had no effect on the immunoreactivity level of GluR1, an integral membrane protein belonging to the glutamate-gated ion channel family, whereas a triple blast insult caused a significant reduction in the GluR1synaptic marker compared to submerged control slices. This might be an indication of a dose-dependent effect and warrants further investigation with hippocampal slice samples to better understand blast-induced brain damage.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2015