Linking Blast Physics to Biological Outcomes in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Narrative Review and Preliminary Report of an Open-Field Blast Model


Blast exposures are associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and blast-induced TBIs are common injuries affecting military personnel. Department of Defense and Veterans Administration (DoD/VA) reports for TBI indicated that the vast majority (82.3%) has been mild TBI (mTBI)/concussion. mTBI and associated posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) have been called "the invisible injury" of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. These injuries induce varying degrees of neuropathological alterations and, in some cases, chronic cognitive, behavioral and neurological disorders. Appropriate animal models of blast-induced TBI will not only assist the understanding of physical characteristics of the blast, but also help to address the potential mechanisms. This report provides a brief overview of physical principles of blast, injury mechanisms related to blast exposure, current blast animal models, and the neurological behavioral and neuropathological findings related to blast injury in experimental settings. We describe relationships between blast peak pressures and the observed injuries. We also report preliminary use of a highly reproducible and intensity-graded blast murine model carried out in open-field with explosives, and describe physical and pathological findings in this experimental model. Our results indicate close relationships between blast intensities and neuropathology and behavioral deficits, particularly at low level blast intensities relevant to mTBI.


Mining Engineering


For Behavioural Brain Research Special Issue, this publication was made possible by funding from the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences at the University of Missouri School of Medicine research fund (ZG), and DoD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) and Peer Reviewed Alzheimer's Research Program (PRARP) Convergence Science Research Award AZ14009. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the United States government, the DoD, the United States Army or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Keywords and Phrases

Acceleration; Article; Behavior assessment; Biomechanics; Blast injury; Glasgow coma scale; Human; Injury severity; Mortality rate; Nerve degeneration; Neurologic examination; Neuropathology; Nonhuman; Open field blast model; Physical phenomena; Physics; Priority journal; Traumatic brain injury; Animal; Battle injury; Blast injury; Rain concussion; Disease model; Mouse; Pathophysiology; Animals; Biomechanical Phenomena; Blast Injuries; Brain Concussion; Disease Models; Animal; Humans; Mice; War-Related Injuries; Behavior; Blast wave physics; Blast-induced TBI

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Article - Journal

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© 2018 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2018

PubMed ID