Yi Hua, Christina L. Wilson, Shengmao Lin, DIganta Dutta, Srivatsan S Kidambi, Linxia Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this work is to determine the injury criterion for primary rat cortical astrocytes through an in vitro traumatic injury model. The compressed air pressure was used to reproduce typical blast pressure profile, which could induce biaxial strain up to 100% in millisecond for cells cultured on flexible membrane utilizing a controlled cellular injury (CCI) device. The nominal pressure and time settings could be adjusted to accommodate a wide range of membrane strain and strain rate, which was estimated from finite element models. The relationship between the peak membrane displacement/strain and the nominal settings of the CCI device was then established. The model was calibrated using both high-speed imaging system and a theoretical model. The viability and morphology of the astrocytes were characterized and correlated with the strain level. Three different regimes were identified in the stretch-induced dose-response curves of the primary cortical astrocytes, with a sharp decline from live to dead in a narrow range of membrane strain (18%-35%). The level of actin organization of the astrocytes decreased as the membrane strain increased. This work could facilitate the understanding of cellar behaviors subjected to mild blast loadings and the potential tissue engineering therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1850040
JournalJournal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Controlled cellular injury
  • astrocytes
  • finite element model
  • mild blast
  • strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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