Traumatic Brain Injury in a Well: A Modular Three-Dimensional Printed Tool for Inducing Traumatic Brain Injury in vitro

Luise Schlotterose, Megane Beldjilali-Labro, Gaya Schneider, Ofir Vardi, Kirsten Hattermann, Uzi Even, Esther Shohami, Herman D. Haustein, Yael Leichtmann-Bardoogo, Ben M. Maoz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major health problem that affects millions of persons worldwide every year among all age groups, mainly young children, and elderly persons. It is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 16 and is highly correlated with a variety of neuronal disorders, such as epilepsy, and neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Over the past few decades, our comprehension of the molecular pathway of TBI has improved, yet despite being a major public health issue, there is currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Approved treatment for TBI, and a gap remains between these advances and their application to the clinical treatment of TBI. One of the major hurdles for pushing TBI research forward is the accessibility of TBI models and tools. Most of the TBI models require costume-made, complex, and expensive equipment, which often requires special knowledge to operate. In this study, we present a modular, three-dimensional printed TBI induction device, which induces, by the pulse of a pressure shock, a TBI-like injury on any standard cell-culture tool. Moreover, we demonstrate that our device can be used on multiple systems and cell types and can induce repetitive TBIs, which is very common in clinical TBI. Further, we demonstrate that our platform can recapitulate the hallmarks of TBI, which include cell death, decrease in neuronal functionality, axonal swelling (for neurons), and increase permeability (for endothelium). In addition, in view of the continued discussion on the need, benefits, and ethics of the use of animals in scientific research, this in vitro, high-Throughput platform will make TBI research more accessible to other labs that prefer to avoid the use of animals yet are interested in this field. We believe that this will enable us to push the field forward and facilitate/accelerate the availability of novel treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-266
Number of pages12
JournalNeurotrauma Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • 3D printing
  • in vitro model
  • platform development
  • traumatic brain injury


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