An in-vitro model of traumatic brain injury utilising two-dimensional stretch of organotypic hippocampal slice cultures
Morrison III, B.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by rapid deformation of the brain, resulting in a cascade of pathological events and ultimately neurodegeneration. Understanding how the biomechanics of brain deformation leads to tissue damage remains a considerable challenge. We have developed an in vitro model of TBI utilising organotypic hippocampal slice cultures on deformable silicone membranes, and an injury device, which generates tissue deformation through stretching the silicone substrate. Our injury device controls the biomechanical parameters of the stretch via feedback control, resulting in a reproducible and equi-biaxial deformation stimulus. Organotypic cultures remain well adhered to the membrane during deformation, so that tissue strain is 93 and 86% of the membrane strain in the x- and y-axis, respectively. Cell damage following injury is positively correlated with strain. In conclusion, we have developed a unique in vitro model to study the effects of mechanical stimuli within a complex cellular environment that mimics the in vivo environment. We believe this model could be a powerful tool to study the acute phases of TBI and the induced cell degeneration could provide a good platform for the development of potential therapeutic approaches and may be a useful in vitro alternative to animal models of TBI.