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McKelvey School of Engineering

Brown School

MEMS SEMINAR: Strain, strain rates, and their thresholds for predicting traumatic brain injury

Thursday, April 4 | 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Stephen F. & Camilla T. Brauer Hall, 012
6548 Forest Park Pkwy, St. Louis, MO 63112, USA

Haneesh Kesari, PhD, Associate Professor of Engineering at Brown University

Yang Wan3, Rafael D. González-Cruz1,2, Rika Wright Carlsen5, Diane Hoffman-Kim1,2,4, and Haneesh Kesari3

1Department of Neuroscience, 2Carney Institute for Brain Science,  3School of Engineering, 4Center for Biomedical Engineering, Brown University , Providence, RI 02912, USA; 5Department of Engineering, Robert Morris University, Moon Township, PA 15108, USA



Abstract:  Critical tissues strain and strain rates are currently hypothesized as being the primary precursors to the onset of traumatic brain injury.  There is great interest in developing methods to rapidly predict brain tissue strains and strain rates resulting from rotational head motions to estimate brain injury risk and to guide the design of protective equipment. In this talk, we will present

new algorithms for recreating the head and body kinematics from inertial sensor measurements; and new idealized continuum mechanics-based head models for predicting brain tissue strains and strain rates from those recreated kinematics. The new model accounts for the head's finite rotation, which is an improvement upon prior models that have been based on a small rotation assumption.  Despite the simplicity of the model, we show that the proposed 2D elastic finite rotation head model predicts comparable strains to a more detailed finite element head model. We will also present our recent work on a new experimental-analytical methodology for determining the critical values for the tissue strain and strain rates. The new methodology involves inertial compression of cortical spheroids (mini-brains) using centrifugation; continuum mechanics based modeling and finite element calculations to estimate strains; LIVE-DEAD assay, Hoechst 33342 nuclear staining, and monitoring of neurite network disruption through confocal imaging of β3-tubulin immunostaining to assess cellular injury at 0, 2, 8, and 24 hours post-centrifugation.


Event Type



McKelvey School of Engineering


Science & Technology



Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
Event Contact

Kyla Kordell, kkyla@wustl.edu

Speaker Information

Haneesh Kesari is currently an Associate Professor of Engineering at Brown University. He is affiliated with the Solid Mechanics group at Brown. He is interested in theoretical and experimental mechanics problems related to contact, adhesion, and fracture of solids.

Previously, he obtained his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University in 2011 and 2007, respectively, and his B.S. degree from Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, all in Mechanical Engineering. At Stanford, he was awarded the Juan Simo Outstanding Thesis award and the Herbert Kunzel Fellowship.

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