Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

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

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Bryan J. Pfister

Second Advisor

Tara L. Alvarez

Third Advisor

George Collins

Fourth Advisor

Max Roman

Abstract

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a wide spread pathological problem occurring in 1.4 million individuals every year according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. There are several types of TBI and the most prominent ones are concussion, contusion, hematoma, coup-contrecoup injury and diffuse axonal injury (DAI). The most severe type and the one that is the hardest to diagnose is DAI. DAI occurs mostly due to accidents relating to automobile, motorcycles and in some cases fall and assault, resulting in a "shearing" phenomenon of the brain. Patients with DAI can range from being, mildly injured, severely disabled or result in death.

This current research is focusing on creating a neural injury device for a twenty four well apparatus with an easy to use software based control. This neural injury device used air pressure to create blast injury to the neural cells in a uniaxial direction. This thesis research focused on the software design for controlling the neural injury device. Several experiments was performed to verify its efficiency in creating consistent, accurate and controllable injury to 24 well of cultured neurons. The results from the experiments demonstrate that this automated multi-well neural injury device is very reliable in terms of controllability, accuracy and consistency.

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