Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

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


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Bryan J. Pfister

Second Advisor

Ying Li

Third Advisor

Rajarshi Chattaraj


As global conflicts are escalating, military personnel have long faced the constant threat of explosions, heightening the risk of blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI). The recent increase in war conflicts and combat zones worldwide not only puts the military, service members, and police forces at risk but also innocent civilians who are caught in the crossfire. While moderate to severe bTBIs have been extensively studied, the pathology of repeated low-level blasts (rLLB) remains less understood. This research addresses the gap in knowledge regarding the long-term consequences of rLLB injuries in the neural anatomy. A transgenic mouse model was subjected to 70 kPa x 3 blasts at 1-minute intervals. Subsequent neurobehavioral tests, including elevated plus maze, open field test, novel object recognition, and sucrose splash test, were conducted at different post-injury time points to assess changes in behaviors of memory, anxiety, and depression. Biochemical analyses involve immunohistochemistry to assess hippocampal microglial activation. Results indicate statistically significant differences between sham and blast groups in neurobehavioral tests, suggesting increased anxiety, short-term memory loss, and depression in the blast group. Biochemical analyses reveal elevated microglial activation, indicating neuroinflammation. This study provides valuable insights into the effects of rLLB in mice, and future research could investigate chronic neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown to further current findings.



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