Concussion Bioreactor

About the project

I'm working on a project that focuses on developing a novel bioreactor to better understand and study blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI). bTBI is prevalent in military personnel during combat and has a significant impact on our national healthcare system, costing around $60 billion per year.

Current Testing Methods and Limitations

The current testing methods for TBI include Controlled Cortical Impact (CCI), Fluid Percussion Injury (FPI), and Weight Drop Injury (WDI). These methods have limitations such as:

  • The necessity for animal testing

  • Limited sample sizes

  • Single timepoints for observation

  • Subjective analysis


Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are caused by a variety of factors, including blunt trauma, blasts, falls, and sports. TBI affects around 3 million people every year and can have long-term symptoms that may be misdiagnosed. The estimated national cost of TBI in the United States is $48.3 billion. My research is primarily focused on bTBI, which occurs when shock waves from explosions pass through the brain.

custom designed cellular bioreactor
custom designed cellular bioreactor
Bioreactor Design and Components

The bioreactor I'm developing aims to provide more insight into cell behavior after injury and allows for controlled conditions to be applied to the cells. The design includes:

  • T-Tube

  • Pressure Sensor

  • Pendulum

  • Incidence Bar

  • Transmission Bar

  • Place-holder for Cell Chamber

cell chamber schematic
cell chamber schematic
Development Method

During the development process, various factors were considered, such as the length of the incidence rod, pendulum angle, pendulum material, and tightness of the transmission rod.

Data Collection

The data collected during the development process includes:

  • Resulting pressure profile

  • Max Pressure

  • Rise Time

  • Positive Duration


My work on developing a novel bioreactor for in vitro testing of blast-induced traumatic brain injury will contribute to the understanding of this "silent epidemic" and potentially pave the way for improved diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies.

me and mark at BMEL TAMU poster presentation
me and mark at BMEL TAMU poster presentation

Mark Garland

Let’s talk?

If you have any questions about my qualifications or would like to discuss further, please don't hesitate to get in touch!