Using Gel to Study Effects of Blasts on the Brain

Researchers study a gel with florescent properties to replicate and understand the effects of a brain during an explosion.


A gel that mimics the texture and mass of the brain, developed by U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientists, may help reveal what happens to the brain during an explosion.

The researchers used pressure-sensitive nanomaterials. The fluorescence intensity of the gel increases or decreases with the amount of pressure applied. Based on how the nanoclusters fluoresce under each pressure, the researchers will be able to gauge what would happen in a “brain situation,” 1 of the researchers says in a article. The researchers are planning to create a pressure scale to graph information about the effects of blast pressure from the changes in color.

The laboratory has a working relationship with Japanese medical researchers who are also studying the effects of blast waves. The Japanese team will test the U.S. Army’s samples with a laser-induced shockwave and share the results of that experiment with the U.S. Army.

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