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Experimental Investigation of Cavitation as a Possible Damage Mechanism in Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury in Post-Mortem Human Subject Heads



Experimental Investigation of Cavitation as a Possible Damage Mechanism in Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury in Post-Mortem Human Subject Heads



Journal of Neurotrauma 34(8): 1589-1602



The potential of blast-induced traumatic brain injury from the mechanism of localized cavitation of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is investigated. While the mechanism and criteria for non-impact blast-induced traumatic brain injury is still unknown, this study demonstrates that local cavitation in the CSF layer of the cranial volume could contribute to these injuries. The cranial contents of three post-mortem human subject (PMHS) heads were replaced with both a normal saline solution and a ballistic gel mixture with a simulated CSF layer. Each were instrumented with multiple pressure transducers and placed inside identical shock tubes at two different research facilities. Sensor data indicates that cavitation may have occurred in the PMHS models at pressure levels below those for a 50% risk of blast lung injury. This study points to skull flexion, the result of the shock wave on the front of the skull leading to a negative pressure in the contrecoup, as a possible mechanism that contributes to the onset of cavitation. Based on observation of intracranial pressure transducer data from the PMHS model, cavitation onset is thought to occur from approximately a 140 kPa head-on incident blast.

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Accession: 057834455

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27855566

DOI: 10.1089/neu.2016.4600


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