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Team 10

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Brendan Braatz
Marcus Fonseca

Dr. Hoshino


Hoshino Lab

sponsored by
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In Vitro Model for Traumatic Brain Injuries

This design project will involve the improvement of a system to model forces produced during a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). TBIs are caused by acute impacts, repeated impacts, or traumatic jostling of the head. These injuries are a large health concern that has led to short- and long-term disability to millions annually. This has been a large area of research, however, current animal models for studying traumatic brain injuries are limited in several ways. An in vitro model for traumatic brain injury application and high-speed visualization should be optimized to resemble in vivo conditions for short- and long-term cellular studies. Cellular damage can then be studied after injury, and on a high-speed impact, the instantaneous damage can be visualized. A force applicator is used to impact a hydrogel neuron culture, and high-speed images are taken to visualize damage. With this project, we will test PDMS mold stiffnesses by indentation testing and shapes for in vivo conditions. We have tested spring configurations in the force applicator which have shown the constraints of the system and the need for a force-dampening attachment for a greater range of applied forces. After optimizing the system, we tested several force outputs to determine if the data can be visualized and falls within the conditions for a TBI. The results of this work will create more options for experiments with neural cells to study cell mechanisms of TBIs.