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Experimental platforms to study blast injury
  1. Thuy-Tien Nguyen1,
  2. A P Pearce1,2,
  3. D Carpanen1,
  4. D Sory3,
  5. G Grigoriadis1,
  6. N Newell1,
  7. J Clasper1,4,
  8. A Bull1,
  9. W G Proud3 and
  10. S D Masouros1
  1. 1 Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2 Academic Department of Military Surgery and Trauma, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3 Institute of Shock Physics, Imperial College London, London, UK
  4. 4 Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, Frimley Park, Frimley, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr S D Masouros, The Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies, Imperial College, London; s.masouros04{at}


Injuries sustained due to attacks from explosive weapons are multiple in number, complex in nature, and not well characterised. Blast may cause damage to the human body by the direct effect of overpressure, penetration by highly energised fragments, and blunt trauma by violent displacements of the body. The ability to reproduce the injuries of such insults in a well-controlled fashion is essential in order to understand fully the unique mechanism by which they occur, and design better treatment and protection strategies to alleviate the resulting poor long-term outcomes. This paper reports a range of experimental platforms that have been developed for different blast injury models, their working mechanism, and main applications. These platforms include the shock tube, split-Hopkinson bars, the gas gun, drop towers and bespoke underbody blast simulators.

  • blast injury
  • experiments
  • interdisciplinary
  • blast

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  • Contributors T-TNN, APP and SDM conceived the paper. T-TNN, APP, DS, DC, GG and NN wrote the separate platform sections. T-TNN wrote and compiled the manuscript with editing and critique from APP, AB, JC, WGP and SDM.

  • Funding This study was funded The Royal British Legion.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.