BOX 2-1Overview of Commonly Used Experimental Models of Traumatic Brain Injury

The fluid percussion device is commonly used to produce general brain movement injuries. Saline is injected rapidly into the epidural space of the brain of an experimental animal through a craniotomy upon release of a pendulum that generates a fluid wave pulse in a saline-filled cylinder (Lindgren and Rinder, 1965; Stålhammar, 1990). Various injury severities can be generated with this model, and the location of the impact site has been shown to determine histopathology (Vink et al., 2001). Lateral mild injuries produce general brain tissue deformation that produces metabolic derangements with no overt cell loss (Fineman et al., 1993; Prins et al., 1996). In contrast, mid-lateral injuries do generate a developing contusion core (Vink et al., 2001). This model has been used in numerous age groups to generate diffuse brain injuries with measurable cognitive deficits, and mild fluid percussion injuries mimic numerous aspects of concussive injuries (Prins and Hovda, 1998, 2001; Prins et al., 1996).

The weight drop injury model involves the release of a known weight onto either the unrestrained exposed skull to produce diffuse injury (Marmarou model) or directly onto the brain through a craniotomy to produce a focal contusion (Feeney model) (see Feeney et al., 1981). In both cases injury severity can be adjusted by the amount of weight and the height from which the weight is released. The Marmarou weight drop injury has been applied to the developing brain, both are well characterized in the adult brain, and milder injuries can replicate aspects of concussive injuries (Kane et al., 2012; Milman et al., 2005).

The controlled cortical impact (CCI) model uses a pneumatic piston that is driven a known depth and velocity into the exposed brain to produce an evolving contusion (Lighthall, 1988), or it can be applied to the closed skull to produce “concussive” types of injuries (Huh et al., 2007; Laurer et al., 2001; Prins et al., 2010). As with the other models, the depth of penetration and velocity can be varied to produce different injury severities in different age groups.

Fluid percussion, weight drop, and CCI injuries have been applied to various animal species, including mice, rats, cats, and piglets. Rotational injuries have been applied to rats (Davidsson and Risling, 2011; Li et al., 2010) as well as to piglets and primates (Browne et al., 2011; Ståhlhammer, 1986; Sullivan et al., 2013).

From: 2, Neuroscience, Biomechanics, and Risks of Concussion in the Developing Brain

Cover of Sports-Related Concussions in Youth
Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture.
Committee on Sports-Related Concussions in Youth; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Institute of Medicine; National Research Council; Graham R, Rivara FP, Ford MA, et al., editors.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2014 Feb 4.
Copyright 2014 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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