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Scientific Reports


Thayer School of Engineering


Secondary brain injury impacts patient prognosis and can lead to long-term morbidity and mortality in cases of trauma. Continuous monitoring of secondary injury in acute clinical settings is primarily limited to intracranial pressure (ICP); however, ICP is unable to identify essential underlying etiologies of injury needed to guide treatment (e.g. immediate surgical intervention vs medical management). Here we show that a novel intracranial bioimpedance monitor (BIM) can detect onset of secondary injury, differentiate focal (e.g. hemorrhage) from global (e.g. edema) events, identify underlying etiology and provide localization of an intracranial mass effect. We found in an in vivo porcine model that the BIM detected changes in intracranial volume down to 0.38 mL, differentiated high impedance (e.g. ischemic) from low impedance (e.g. hemorrhagic) injuries (p < 0.001), separated focal from global events (p < 0.001) and provided coarse ‘imaging’ through localization of the mass effect. This work presents for the first time the full design, development, characterization and successful implementation of an intracranial bioimpedance monitor. This BIM technology could be further translated to clinical pathologies including but not limited to traumatic brain injury, intracerebral hemorrhage, stroke, hydrocephalus and post-surgical monitoring.



Original Citation

Everitt, A., Root, B., Calnan, D. et al. A bioimpedance-based monitor for real-time detection and identification of secondary brain injury. Sci Rep 11, 15454 (2021).