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Underbody Blast Models of TBI Caused by Hyper-Acceleration and Secondary Head Impact
[Technical Report, Final Report]
University of Maryland
Pagination or Media Count:
Most research on blast-induced traumatic brain injury TBI has focused on blast overpressure, as experienced by unmounted warfighters. We focused our efforts on an animal model of TBI caused by under-vehicle underbody blasts, relevant to injuries inflicted on occupants of vehicles targeted by IEDs. Our research was based on the central hypothesis that underbody blast induced acceleration alone, in the absence of exposure to significant ambient pressure changes, can cause brain injury at survivable G-forces relevant to those experienced by occupants of IED-targeted vehicles. Collaboration between the Universityof Maryland Schools of Engineering and Medicine has confirmed this hypothesis. Moreover, we described in detail the pathophysiology of underbody blast TBI, thus identifying targets for neuroprotection. Most importantly, we developed completely new military vehicle designs that dramatically reduce the acceleration G force experienced by the rats used as vehicle occupants in our small scale explosion experiments. The reduction in G force results in equally impressive reduction inmortality and protection against TBI. If these results are validated with full scale under-vehicle blast experiments, they may lead to the next generation of armor-protected military vehicles that will save lives and reduce traumatic injuries.
[A, Approved For Public Release]