An implantable helmet for studying repeat TBI

Katelynn Ondek, Steven Lucero, Marike Zwienenberg, Gene Gurkoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


An estimated 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur each year, the majority classified as mild. Interest in models of mild and repeat mild TBI has grown due to reports of lasting morbidity following sports- or combat-related injury. There remains a paucity of data linking cellular or systems-related mechanisms to behavioral outcomes following repeat mild TBI, particularly in adolescent and adult rats. It is critical, therefore, to develop flexible models to evaluate which parameters of injury are associated with brain vulnerability or poor chronic outcome compared to normal recovery. While there are several existing models of repeat mild TBI in rodents, studying the effects of multiple hits has been complicated by the need for multiple survival surgeries, extensive pre-injury anesthesia time, and limitations due to animal skull thickness. • We developed a chronic “helmet” implant by combining aspects of the Impact Acceleration and Controlled Cortical Impact models. • Implants were performed days before injury, allowing us to decouple surgery from TBI. Critically, by pre-implanting the animals, only minimal anesthesia was required to position them under the impactor. • The implant allows for flexibility in the number and severity of injuries and interval between impacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101142
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Implant for repeat traumatic brain injury
  • mTBI
  • Repeat injury
  • Sports injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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