Special Seminar - Understanding Mechanisms of Traumatic Brain and Eye Injury for Better Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Date: March 3, 2010
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Bossone Research Enterprise Center, Room: 709
Brittany Coats, Ph.D.
Department of Bioengineering
240 Skirkanich Hall
University of Pennsylvania
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in young children. The three most common causes of pediatric TBI are falls, motor vehicle accidents and physical abuse. For years, children have been treated as “miniature” adults with the assumption that brain material properties and injury thresholds could be estimated by scaling down data from adult studies. Research has shown, however, that children are unique because their tissue properties, physiological response to trauma, and injury recovery patterns are strongly dependent on the age of the child. The goal of our research is to gather age-appropriate biomechanical data that will contribute to the design of better preventative measures specific for pediatric TBI, lead to the development of treatment strategies for children, and immediately assist clinicians in the challenging task of differentiating between accidental and abusive head trauma. In this presentation, I will illustrate our multi-faceted approach that includes animal models, material property testing, surrogate simulations, and computational modeling. With these tools, we have identified several distinctions between adult and pediatric head injury and are currently working on a diagnostic tool that clinicians can use to assess the validity of a history of a fall in children presenting with skull fracture and intracranial hemorrhage. Future studies entail understanding the biomechanics of eye injury associated with traumatic brain injury, and investigating the effect of repetitive, cyclic, back and forth head rotations (a mechanism often described in child abuse) on traumatic brain injury in children.
Please view Dr. Coats' CV by clicking here.
The Bossone Research Enterprise Center is located at the corner of 32nd and Market Streets.