Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a major cause of fatality and disability all over the world. At TBL we study how neural tissue responds to external forces and how brain injury occurs. This knowledge will help in the design of better protective systems and also in predicting the extent of brain injury in a given scenario of impact or inertial loading to the head.
The questions at hand are
- How the response of brain tissue changes during the course of injury.
- How the brain tissue mechanical characteristics determined from excised tissues differ from in vivo properties.
- The extent of deformation that brain tissue undergoes during an automotive-type impact.
- The pressure distribution in brain tissue when hit by a blast wave.
Biomechanics of Traumatic Aortic Rupture
Traumatic Aortic Rupture (TAR) is a leading cause of fatality in motor vehicle accidents. About 20 percent of fatalities in motor vehicle crashes are caused by aortic injuries. The biomechanical mechanism of TAR is yet unknown since laboratory tests to reproduce repeatable TAR in crash tests using cadavers have been unsuccessful. A better understanding of the mechanism of TAR is essential for
- Evaluation of the effect of the existing injury mitigation devices such as seat belts and airbags on TAR,
- Optimization of the injury mitigation systems with regard to loading conditions with higher risk of TAR
- Predication of the likelihood or the risk of TAR for a given crash scenario.
At TBL a mechanistic experimental-numerical approach is being developed to produce TAR in a physical model and in a computer model. The models will subsequently be used to analyze the effect of biomechanical inputs on TAR and to define the criteria for injury. Also the local mechanism of failure in the aorta wall and the occurrence of partial rupture are being investigated based on a nanomechanical composite model.
Stability of Human Head and Neck
When the world is moving, we have to determine whether it is the environment or ourselves that is moving. To do this we must use the sensory information linked to the context of the movement and determine whether there is a mismatch between visual motion and our vestibular and somatosensory afference. If the environment around us is stationary, it is relatively easy to identify our physical motion. However, when the world is also moving, we need to shape our movements to accurately match the demands of the environment. The ability to orient ourselves in space is a multisensory process and the impairment of any one of the relevant pathways may impact postural stability. Instability resulting in falls is a major public health concern because it is the leading cause of injury related death and of nonfatal injury in the US. The underlying causes of instability still need to be examined if we are to create therapeutic interventions that will improve balance and lessen the number of falls.
Our goal is to combine the work of two Temple laboratories (Temple Biomechanics Lab and Virtual Reality and Postural Orientation Lab ) aimed at clarifying the contributions of visual, somatosensory, and higher center inputs to orientation in space. Results from these studies should shed light on the underlying causes of instability and will help us create therapeutic interventions that will improve balance in impaired populations (e.g., stroke, Parkinsons, traumatic brain injury).