International collaboration is a vital program component of the Blast Injury Research Coordinating Office's
directive to coordinate and manage the multidisciplinary research efforts that are saving lives, reducing injury,
and speeding the recovery of injured Service Members, Veterans, and civilian victims of conflict and terrorism.
The US-Japan Data Exchange Agreement (DEA) Annex, DEA-DT-2015-JA-0001, provides for exchange of scientific, technical, and test and evaluation information pertaining to counter-chemical, biological, radiological, and high yield explosives (C-CBRE) technologies between the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the Ministry of Defense of Japan. Under the DEA, information from experimental laboratory and field studies is shared to further mutual understandings of the mechanism of blast injury and strategies for the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of these injuries.
The US-Japan Service to Service (S2S) Forum Meeting was formally established on November 5, 2015 under a Terms of Reference, and is the US Army's highest level bilateral Armaments Cooperation forum with Japan. The S2S provides a forum for the US and Japan to share Army/Ground materiel and technology requirements, identify common technology gaps, and attempt to address those gaps with armaments cooperation solutions, i.e., Information and Personnel Exchanges, and Project Arrangements.
The Blast Injury Research Coordinating Office (BIRCO), US Army Research Development and Engineering Command, International Technology Center-Pacific (RDECOM, ITC-PAC), and Office of Naval Research-Global are sponsoring the project, "Injury Mechanisms in Blast and Blunt TBI – A Comparative Study Based on Clinical Data and Numerical Analysis." Conducted by researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), the project explores the hypothesis that the mechanism of injury is different between blast and blunt neurotrauma.
The BIRCO and US Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP) developed and received approval for the project, "Experimental and Computational Studies of Blast and Blunt Traumatic Brain Injury." This project is under the US-India Defense Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) and is co-sponsored by the US Under Secretary of Defense and USAMRDC. The lead collaborative organizations are the USAMRDC and the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences-Defence Research and Development Organization, Ministry of Defence, India. Other participants include Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Naval Research Laboratory, Indian Defense Institute of Psychological Research and Indian Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory.
Project objectives include the following:
The outcome of this project is to create a blast injury animal model for mTBI to help elucidate the mechanism of injury. The validated computational/anatomical models can expedite identification, selection, and transition of prevention and treatment strategies to clinical trials. Also the validated models could be translated to commercial defense industry for designing improved personal protective equipment. The injury severity scale for blast-induced mTBI could be used to inform Military Health System Clinical Practices in theatre and during treatment.
Annex Number DEA-A-1977-IS-1230 under the Mutual Weapons Development Master Data Exchange Agreement between the US and Israel established a data exchange project that provides for the exchange of medical research, development, test and evaluation data and defense information of relevance to military medical operational forces. Under the DEA, the US Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRFC) and counterparts in Israel share vital information on topics that include:
For more information about the NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO), under which the Human Factors and Medicine (HFM) Panel resides, read more...
The HFM-234 (RTG), chaired by the Director of the Blast Injury Research Coordinating Office (BIRCO), is tasked with establishing a framework for a new interdisciplinary research area focusing on the environmental toxicology of blast exposure. To meet this goal, HFM-234 (RTG) will build an evidence-based outline for NATO standards to blast injury analysis; examine opportunities for improvements in the standards of medical care for blast injury; explore advancing the state-of-practice in computational modeling of blast injury in relevant operational environments; and explore standardized animal models and toxicology research protocols that can be adopted by research and technology programs across NATO.
Through the efforts of 17 members from nine NATO nations, HFM-234 (RTG) developed the following NATO documents:
By promoting standardization in experimental methods, data collection, and reporting, the outcomes of HFM-234 (RTG) eliminates the obstacles that hinder collective research efforts and facilitate international collaboration to improve the prevention, treatment, and mitigation of blast injuries for our Service Members and our partner nations.
As a follow-on to HFM-234 (RTG), the HFM-270 (RTG) will highlight requirements for biomedically-valid computational models of blast injury that incorporate both biomechanical and physiological responses to help elucidate tissue-level mechanisms of blast injury needed to design and test protection systems for individuals and occupants of combat platforms. The Blast Injury Research BIRCO Director will chair the HFM-270 (RTG). The objectives of the HFM-270 (RTG) will leverage previous, ongoing, and planned blast injury biomedical research and computational modeling efforts among the participating nations to develop a framework for translating scientific information into the capability to model the mechanisms of human lethality, injury, and impairment across the spectrum of blast-related threats. HFM-270 (RTG) will develop the framework for creating and evaluating effective systems that protect against these blast-related threats. The topics to be considered by this working group include:
The ability to use scientific information to model the mechanisms of human lethality, injury, and impairment across the spectrum of blast-related threats will improve the prevention, treatment, and mitigation of blast injuries for our Service Members and our partner nations.
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