Brain Injury: Overview

As components of the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord both face similar biologic obstacles when injured. While injury to the spinal cord may induce paralysis, damage to the brain may cause physical and cognitive deficits. Since the pathophysiology of CNS tissue share some aspects, especially in the biochemistry of secondary injury, it follows that some technologies designed for the spinal cord can also be applied to head trauma. Specifically, the Center is investigating ways to mitigate secondary injury via repairing of damaged cell membranes or targeting reactive species. In addition, the Center looks at developing different injury models to mimic real-life injury conditions ranging from severe traumatic brain injury, stroke to mild repetitive (sub-threshold) situations. A variety of tools including live animal imaging, histology, and behavioral assessment are used to measure neurologic damage and recovery.

Focus Areas:

  1. Use of injectable membrane fusogens (such as polyethylene glycol and chitosan) as a means to seal damaged cell membranes and ameliorate secondary injury.
  2. Targeting and neutralization of reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species and aldehydes
  3. Developing models for stroke, traumatic and sub-threshold mild traumatic brain injury (i.e. concussions).
  4. Modulation of the neuroinflammatory response post injury.
  5. Localized drug delivery
Spots Therapeutic nanoparticles for sealing damaged cell membranes after traumatic injury and stroke. Nanoparticles are about 1/100 the size of a typical cell.

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