Traumatic Brain Injury

Over 69 million people suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) each year and lifelong disability is common in those who survive.1  Animal models are being used to replicate various features of human traumatic brain injury to increase our understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and potential acute and chronic treatments. 

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Falls
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Sports Injuries
  • Child Abuse
  • Blast Injuries


Commonly Use Species in TBI Research

Mouse Silhouette






non-human primate

Nonhuman Primates



Case Study

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This paper examines four different TBI models that have been developed, and highlights several peer-reviewed articles where these models have been successfully used.


DSI Solutions are Trusted by TBI Researchers to Get Meaningful Answers Out of Their Studies

To enhance translation of preclinical results to clinical treatments, experiments in small and large animal models with acute and chronic evaluations following the TBI are recommended.2  DSI provides a wide range of validated physiological monitoring solutions to fit researcher needs during the many stages of their research.

Click on a research area below to learn more about endpoints of interest collected in TBI studies.

Intracranial Pressure

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often results in increased intracranial pressure (ICP).  Secondary injuries, up to and including death, are a natural consequence as the brain swells within the rigid skull.1,2   As a result, continuous ICP monitoring is seen as a vital aspect of clinical treatment for patients with TBI.2,3  Current methods of monitoring ICP in animals are implantable telemetry, intraventricular catheters,
and epidural probes.

Common Endpoints

Cranial Pressure

Blood Pressure

Heart Rate


Google Scholar Indexes 500 Publications Citing DSI and Intracranial Pressure

Sleep and Seizure

Sleep disturbances occur in 30-70% of individuals following traumatic brain injury (TBI).1 When chronic sleep disruption occurs it may exacerbate other symptoms, impair recovery and lead to cognitive decline.2  Researchers use electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) to monitor sleep in animal models. EEG is also used to monitor seizure activity post injury as 1 in 5 TBI patients develop epilepsy in the first week post-injury.1 

Common Endpoints

Sleep Scoring

 Seizure Detection

Respiratory Rate

Tidal Volume


Google Scholar Indexes 1,410 Publications Citing DSI and Sleep
Google Scholar Indexes 447 Publications Citing DSI and Seizure


Traumatic brain injuries, especially repetitive damage, can lead to a range of acute and chronic effects including cognitive deficits, social abnormalities, anxiety, depression, pain, and motor dysfunction. Behavioral assessments help to determine these effects after injury, providing a greater understanding of underlying pathophysiology as well as relevant treatment options.

Google Scholar Indexes 531 Publications Citing Panlab and Traumatic Brain Injury
Google Scholar Indexes 269 Publications Citing Coulbourn Instruments and Traumatic Brain Injury


Immune-suppression is often associated with TBI and can lead to pulmonary complications including respiratory failure, pneumonia, pleural effusions, and empyema, acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ALI/ARDS), pulmonary edema, and pulmonary embolism (PE).1,2 However, new research suggests TBI patients may actually be less susceptible to pneumonia as TBI activates vagus nerve signaling through neurokinin and cholinergic pathways.1,3

Common Endpoints

Breathing Frequency

 Inspiratory and Expiratory Duration

 Peak Airflow Rates

 Tidal and Expiratory Reserve Volume

 Volume and Functional Residual Capacity

Respiratory Muscle Function

Lung and Chest Wall Compliance


Google Scholar Indexes 121 Publications Citing Buxco or DSI, Respiratory and Traumatic Brain Injury


Temperature monitoring has several applications in TBI research. A noninfectious increase in core body temperature, known as Posttraumatic Hyperthermia (PTH), often occurs post-injury and negatively impacts recovery.1 There is significant research into the cause of PTH and its impact on the patient.1 Core body temperature monitoring is also used in hypothermic treatment approaches. Mild therapeutic hypothermia is neuroprotective against multiple brain insults, and can reduce seizure incidence and severity in some cases.2,3,4  To accurately measure core body temperature invasive measurements are required.

Common Endpoints

Core Body Temperature

Localized Temperature

Ambient Temperature



Google Scholar Indexes 146 Publications Citing DSI, Temperature and Traumatic Brain Injury


Highlighted Publications and References


  1. 1. Dewan, M. C., Rattani, A., Gupta, S., Baticulon, R. E., Hung, Y. C., Punchak, M., ... & Rosenfeld, J. V. (2018). Estimating the global incidence of traumatic brain injury. Journal of neurosurgery130(4), 1080-1097.
  2. Xiong Y, Mahmood A, Chopp M. Animal models of traumatic brain injury. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2013; 14: 128-142. doi:10.1038/nrn3407



  1. Chavko M. Advances in Intracranial Pressure Monitoring and Its Significance in Managing Traumatic Brain Injury. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2015; 16:28979-28997.
  2. Bertil R, Per-Olof G. Traumatic brain injury: Intracranial pressure monitoring in traumatic injury. Nature Reviews Neurology. April 2013; 9:185-186. doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2013.37
  3. Kawoos U, McCarron RM, Auker CR, Chavko M. Advances in Intracranial Pressure Monitoring and Its Significance in Managing Traumatic Brain Injury. Jia X, ed. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2015; 16(12):28979-28997. doi:10.3390/ijms161226146.
  4. Murtha L, McLeod D, and Spratt N. Epidural intracranial pressure measurement in rats using a fiber-optic pressure transducer. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2012; 62:e3689. doi: 10.3791/3689

TBI and Seizure

  1. Vespa PM, Nuwer MR, Nenov V, et al. Increased incidence and impact of nonconvulsive and convulsive seizures after traumatic brain injury as detected by continuous electroencephalographic monitoring. Journal of Neurosurgery. 1999; 91:750-60.
  2. Guo D, Zeng L, Brody DL, Wong M (2013) Rapamycin Attenuates the Development of Posttraumatic Epilepsy in a Mouse Model of Traumatic Brain Injury. PLoS ONE. 8(5): e64078. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064078

TBI and Sleep

  1. Viola-Saltzman M, Watson NF. Traumatic Brain Injury and Sleep Disorders. Neurologic Clinics. 2012; 30(4):1299-1312. doi:10.1016/j.ncl.2012.08.008.
  2. Lucke-Wold BP, Smith KE, Nguyen L, Turner RC, Logsdon AF, Jackson GJ, Huber JD, Rosen CL, Miller DB. Sleep disruption and the sequelae associated with traumatic brain injury. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. August 2015; 55:68-77. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.04.010.
  3. Skopin MD, Kabadi SV, Viechweg SS, Mong JA, Faden AI. Chronic Decrease in Wakefulness and Disruption of Sleep-Wake Behavior after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Neurotrauma. September 2014; 32(5):289-296. doi:10.1089/neu.2014.3664.
  4. Petraglia AL, Plog BA, Dayawansa S, Chen M, Dashnaw ML, Czerniecka K, Walker CT, Viterise T, Hyrien O, Iliff JJ, Deane R, Nedergaard M, Huang JH. The Spectrum of Neurobehavioral Sequelae after Repetitive Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Novel Mouse Model of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Journal of Neurotrauma. July 2014; 31(13):1211-1224. doi:10.1089/neu.2013.3255.

TBI and Temperature

  1. Thompson HJ, Hoover RC, Tkacs NC, Saatman KE, McIntosh TK. Development of Posttraumatic Hyperthermia after Traumatic Brain Injury in Rats is Associated with Increased Periventricular Inflammation. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. 25(2):163-176. doi:10.1038/sj.jcbfm.9600008.
  2. Klahr AC, Dietrich K, Dickson CT, Colbourne F. Prolonged Localized Mild Hypothermia Does Not Affect Seizure Activity After Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Rats. Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management. February 2016; 6(1):40-47. doi:10.1089/ther.2015.0028.
  3. Yokobori S, Yokota H. Targeted temperature management in traumatic brain injury. Journal of Intensive Care. 2016; 4:28. doi:10.1186/s40560-016-0137-4.

TBI and Respiration

  1. Hsieh T. Mild traumatic brain injury augments innate immune responses through neurokinin and cholinergic signaling. ProQuest Dissertations, 2016.
  2. Kiwon L, Rincon F. Pulmonary Complications in Patients with Severe Brain Injury. Critical Care Research and Practice. 2012; Article ID 207247, 8 pages. doi:10.1155/2012/207247
  3. Stepien DM. The Immune Response to Bacterial Pneumonia Following Traumatic Brain Injury. Boston University Libraries. OpenBU. 2013.