Producing High-Contrast Images of Speckled Brain Tissue for Non-Contact Optical Measurement

Date
2017-04-11
Authors
Hansen, Sarah
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Altmetrics
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Mechanical Engineering
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Mechanical Engineering
Abstract

The design of football helmets to mitigate traumatic brain injury due to blunt impact is not possible without accurate characterization of the brain material response. Digital image correlation (DIC) is a noncontact optical technique that can be used to characterize the mechanical behavior of brain tissue by measuring the deformation due to an applied load. Accurate deformation measurements depend on the ability to create a high-contrast speckle pattern on the specimen. The main objective of this project is to develop a protocol for adhering speckles to pig brain tissue that will result in high-contrast images, without altering the mechanical behavior. The brain is stained using a saline solution mixed with methylene blue dye. Speckles are air brushed onto the stained tissue surface using acrylic paint. Digital images of the speckled brain deforming due to compression tests are acquired. A commercially available DIC software measures the speckled brain’s deformation, which is compared with published data of unstained brain tissue. The acrylic paint color yielding the highest contrast against the methylene blue solution is also identified. Researchers using DIC to characterize the mechanical behavior of soft biological tissue or biomaterials will benefit from the speckling approach that we have developed.

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