"The research, the focus of a three-year, $1.5 million study funded by the Department of Defense, was recently published in the journal Neurosurgery. The technology, tested in rats, is called mechanical tissue resuscitation (MTR) and uses negative pressure to create an environment that fosters cell survival."
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When the brain is injured by blunt force, explosion or other trauma, the cells at the impact site are irreversibly damaged and die. In the area surrounding the wound, injured cells release toxic substances that cause the brain to swell and restrict blood flow and oxygen levels. This process results in more extensive cell death which affects brain function. Argenta and his team targeted these injured brain cells to determine if removing the fluid and toxic substances that lead to cell death could help improve survival of the damaged cells.

In the study, a bioengineered material matrix was placed directly on the injured area in the brain and attached to a flexible tube connected to a microcomputer vacuum pump. The pump delivered a carefully controlled vacuum to the injured brain for 72 hours drawing fluid from the injury site.

The brain injuries treated with the device showed a significant decrease in brain swelling and release of toxic substances when compared to untreated injuries. Brains treated with the device showed that over 50% more brain tissue could be preserved compared to nontreated animals. Behavioral function tests demonstrated that function was returned faster in the MTR treated group.[source]