Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level



Biomedical Engineering


Wolchok, Jeffrey


Traumatic brain injuries are a common cause of injury and result from a blow to the head whether it be blunt, penetrating, or inertial. TBIs are typically obtained in a fall, while playing a sport, or in a car crash. TBIs can be diagnosed as mild (commonly referred to as a concussion), moderate, or severe based upon their score from the Glasgow coma scale. TBIs can also lead to other risks such as epilepsy or Alzheimer’s Disease as well as increasing the risk of suffering another TBI. Astrocytes are heterogeneous glial cells in the brain that alter their response based upon factors relating to the injury. Astrocytes function in regulating blood flow, supporting neuronal function, maintaining the balance of ions, fluid, and transmitters, energy provision, and preserving the blood brain barrier. It is thought that the mechanical stimuli of a TBI induce a response from astrocytes known as reactive astrogliosis. The experiment in this paper details the comparison of the response of rat astrocytes stimulated once versus astrocytes stimulated twice through drop impact testing. The mechanical stimuli applied to the cells aim to mimic the stimuli caused during a traumatic brain injury. Five genes (ACE, IFNK, KCND2, PRF1, and PTPN5) that elicit a response relating to traumatic brain injuries were found to be upregulated or downregulated with a difference in the level of regulation between those dropped with 20% induced strain to increase mechanical stimuli and those dropped without.


astrocytes, traumatic brain injuries, mechanical stimuli, reactive astrogliosis

Available for download on Monday, May 01, 2023