Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

James Haorah

Second Advisor

Bryan J. Pfister

Third Advisor

Jonathan M. Grasman


Lithium, a popular drug for treating mental health disorder has shown promising effect in recent research on traumatic brain injury (TBI). The mechanism of lithium for treating bipolar mood disorder is still not properly understood, but recent studies showed that lithium is neuroprotective in TBI. In my thesis, the neuroprotective effects of lithium were examined in primary neuronal culture and mild blunt injury using rodent model of Lateral Fluid Percussion Injury (LFPI). At first determination of the neuroprotective/toxicity effects of lithium in neuronal culture was done and observed that 0.5 - 1.0 mM concentrations were found to be neuroprotective as per cell viability assay. This optimized 1.0 mM lithium was then administered to injured animals to evaluate if lithium can restore the injury at day 1, 3, and 7 post-TBI. Fluorescent labeled tracer (2000 kDa) was also deposited in the CSF directly to trace the time-dependent recovery of the damaged CSF-subarachnoid circulation by lithium. Tracer level as seen in the scanned images of the treated tissue sections, indicated the amount of lithium in blood circulation, supporting the theory that more amount of tracer indicates more leakage of the tracer due to rupture of Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) which can be caused by the injury. Quantification of Cresyl Violet labeled neurons in brain tissue sections shows an increase in neuronal cell number when treated with lithium post injury. The data collected by me for this thesis, supports the theory that lithium protects neurons against excitotoxicity effects of various chemicals, resulted by traumatic brain injury.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.