Blasted Flies and Nanoparticles for TBI
This presentation briefly summaries two major areas of work in our lab, development of a Drosophila model of blast injury and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with cerium oxide nanoparticles. First, we discuss the design, methodology, and results for the Drosophila blast model, and its relevance to human head injury. Briefly, we found that the Drosophila model was able to reproduce the decreased lifespan and early death seen in military personnel exposed to repetitive mild blast and NFL players exposed to repeated mild head injury. Next we discuss our in vitro and in vivo work with cerium oxide nanoparticles as neuroprotective and regenerative agents for treatment of TBI. Using a tissue culture model for TBI, we found that cerium oxide nanoparticles, delivered up to 6 hrs. post-injury, improved neuronal survival and maintained near-normal glutamate signaling in neurons of mixed organotypic brain cell cultures. In vivo, we found that delivery of cerium oxide nanoparticles prior to lateral fluid percussion brain injury in the rat, improved motor performance, learning and memory.