Namas Chandra, Ph.D., P.E.
Elmer Koch Professor of Engineering
Department of Materials and Mechanical Engineering
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Blast Induced Traumatic Brain Injuries: Experimental And Simulation Approaches
Blasts from mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) inflict majority of mortality and injuries to warfighters and innocent bystanders. Blast-shock waves cause mild to moderate to severe blast induced neurotrauma (BINT) in acute and chronic stages. The basic mechanics of shock-(bio) structure interaction and the mechanisms of damage are not known. To understand the interaction of blast on the head/brain complex; to identify the mechanisms of injury; to examine the role of protective systems on injury; to provide better diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic tools, shock tubes are extensively used in the laboratory to simulate the field conditions. By detailing the results from a series of careful experiments (field explosions and shock tubes) and numerical simulations, we demonstrate that 1) blast profiles continuously evolve along the length of the tube, 2) blast tubes can replicate primary field conditions in a narrow test region 4) shock-blast waves interact with structural and biological media very differently, 5) helmet material and geometry play a critical role in protecting or otherwise, and 6) studies using animal models/cadavers/test dummies/single neurons provide great insight into the biomechanical loadings and post-injury biochemical and pathophysiological (e.g. break down of blood-brain barrier, neuronal plasma damage) sequelae. Other effects of blasts including under body effects are also presented.