In Vitro Model of Whiplash Trauma in Dorsal Root Ganglia – A Pilot Study
Background, aim and goal
Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) that mostly occurs in low speed vehicle collisions is the most common and costly traffic injury, with a much higher injury risk in females compared to males. At the same time it is one of the most poorly understood traffic injuries. It results in long lasting and debilitating pain in the neck region, but there is a serious lack of established and effective diagnosis and treatment. Recent developments in pain research show that inflammation in the cells of the spinal dorsal nerve root ganglia cause long term central pain sensitization. Interestingly, recent computational biomechanical research at Chalmers shows how the dorsal root ganglia are deformed during the load case of a car collision. Pressure transients are generated in the central nervous system and cause the deformation. These recent findings open up for a new paradigm in whiplash injury research. Our teams at Chalmers and Gothenburg University have joined forces to develop a methodology to include the most recent technology in order to study nerve cell physiology in-vitro.
The aimwith this proposed study is to develop a pilot test set-up to reproduce, in vitro, the local nerve injury mechanism that occurs during whiplash trauma in vivo. Our goalis to generate results that show the feasibility of the in-vitro approach in this research field, and thus form a basis for future research projects and applications for funding.
Chalmers expertise in injury biomechanics is joined with the Sahlgrenska Academy expertise in neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. The project will fuse in-vitro mechanical trauma simulation with the most recent technology in cellular manipulation and stimulation. A pilot in-vitro method will be developed to study the influence of pressure induced deformation of dorsal root ganglia and the functional consequences. Our future long term goal is to transfer the pilot set-up to an experimental chain where nerve cells are exposed to trauma and study excitability and neurotransmission in a Cellaxess Elektra Discovery Platform with-in an established collaboration with the med-tech company Cellectricon AB in Mölndal. In this future test chain we plan to study if trauma to the dorsal root ganglia has potential to initiate pain sensitization leading to chronic neck pain. Diagnostics and medical interventions may be a future result.
1) the development of solutions for a sustainable transport system:
Imminent electrified, small light weight, automated vehicles will still experience the type of low severity collisions where whiplash injuries typically occur.
2) existing research/knowledge at Chalmers and GU, and collaboration across disciplines:
This project combines to very different scientific disciplines at GU and Chalmers and uses highly developed expertise from the two areas to accomplish completely new research findings.
3) increased external funding
An aim with this pilot project is to form a basis for future larger project applications.
4) UN’s global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
This proposed project addresses several of the UN SDGs including: 3) Good Health and Well Being; 5) Gender Equality; 11) Sustainable Cities.
Prof. Mats Svensson, Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, email@example.com, 031-772 3644
Prof. Eric Hanse, Univ. of Gothenburg, Neuroscience and Physiology, firstname.lastname@example.org, 031-786 3510
Henrik Seth, Univ. of Gothenburg, Department of Physiology at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, email@example.com
Huadong Yao, Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mats Svensson (contact)
Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Vehicle Safety
Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Fluid Dynamics
University of Gothenburg
Funding Chalmers participation during 2019
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Areas of Advance