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Bomb Blast Induced Shock Waves May Electrify and Damage the Brain

by Tanya Thomas on  April 26, 2010 at 11:06 AM Research News   - G J E 4
 Bomb Blast Induced Shock Waves May Electrify and Damage the Brain
A new study has found that the shock waves produced due to a bomb blast may electrify the brain and damage it.

"It's always exciting to look at a phenomenon that may have been missed in the past," Live Science quoted Steven Johnson, a theoretical physicist at MIT, as saying.
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He added: "Moreover, this is potentially an issue that can directly affect the lives of our soldiers, which gives it a special interest for all of us who are involved."

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Several materials produce electricity when they are mechanically stressed. Known as piezoelectricity, this effect is commonly witnessed in guitar pickups and loudspeakers.

Johnson and his team designed a new computer model of the electric fields created in the skull by an improvised explosive device (IED).

The results suggest the generated electric fields could exceed electrical safety guidelines by a factor of 10.

While there are numerous uncertainties at present these electric pulses could help find a new class of medical diagnostic tools for blast-induced head injuries like customized helmets.

Johnson said: "We are looking into whether antennas inside the helmet could pick up the electric field generated when the blast impacts the skull, which would provide a direct measure of the head's exposure to a blast wave.

"Eventually, the reading could be used for diagnosis," he added."If the reading is above a certain threshold determined by injury research, the soldier could be directed to further screening and treatment - MRI scans and so on."

Source: ANI
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