In vitro models of traumatic brain injury

Barclay Morrison, Benjamin S. Elkin, Jean Pierre Dollé, Martin L. Yarmush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


In vitro models of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are helping elucidate the pathobiological mechanisms responsible for dysfunction and delayed cell death after mechanical stimulation of the brain. Researchers have identified compounds that have the potential to break the chain of molecular events set in motion by traumatic injury. Ultimately, the utility of in vitro models in identifying novel therapeutics will be determined by how closely the in vitro cascades recapitulate the sequence of cellular events that play out in vivo after TBI. Herein, the major in vitro models are reviewed, and a discussion of the physical injury mechanisms and culture preparations is employed. A comparison between the efficacy of compounds tested in vitro and in vivo is presented as a critical evaluation of the fidelity of in vitro models to the complex pathobiology that is TBI. We conclude that in vitro models were greater than 88% predictive of in vivo results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-126
Number of pages36
JournalAnnual Review of Biomedical Engineering
StatePublished - Aug 15 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Astrocyte
  • Cortex
  • Hippocampus
  • Neuron
  • Organotypic slice culture
  • Pharmacology


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