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Viscoelastic Response of Shock Wave Impacted Brain Tissue


In recent years, there has been an escalation of blast-induced traumatic brain injuries (bTBI) caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during global conflict. Blast injuries are attributed to the blast wave and has the capability to cause life-threatening injuries and fatalities. However, the mechanical behavior of brains subjected to shock wave impact is still unknown. Thus, hindering improved countermeasure development to mitigate bTBI. This study aims to understand the viscoelastic response of shock wave impacted brain tissue. Postmortem porcine brain tissues were subjected to shock wave impact, prior to unconfined compression experiments at a linear rate of 5 and 50 mm/min to a strain of 20%. The shock wave impacted tissue was allowed to relax for two minutes, after being compressed to 20% strain. Coefficients of the fractional Zener (FZ) constitutive model was optimized to obtain the viscoelastic material properties of the shock wave impacted brain tissue.



Sarah A. Bentil is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University of Science and Technology. She currently holds the title of William March Scholar in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University of Science and Technology. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Neuroscience Interdepartmental Graduate Program at Iowa State University. Her research interests are in the field of soft tissue and biomaterial mechanics. Her current work involves investigating traumatic brain injury mechanisms due to both blast and blunt impact. In 2015, she completed her postdoctoral appointment with the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) located at The Johns Hopkins University. She received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Mechanical Engineering in 2013. Prior to her studies at The Ohio State University, she worked as a General Engineer at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation. She received her M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her undergraduate degrees (B.S.), in both Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics, were obtained from the University of Vermont.


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