US Department of Defense
Advancing Blast Injury Research to Protect and Heal Those Who Serve

Facilitating Collaboration Within and Outside of the Department of Defense (DoD)

The Blast Injury Studies, Imperial College London Announces The Blast Injury Conference 2019

The Centre for Blast Injury Studies, Imperial College London, is hosting the Centre's Blast Injury Conference 2019 held at Imperial College, South Kensington Campus, in the City and Guilds building (Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2AZ) on July 11-12, 2019. The Blast Injury Research PCO Director is pleased to share this valuable opportunity to attend a multidisciplinary program of presentations covering topics related to military and civilian blast injury and will include international and UK researchers, clinicians and specialists from across the research pipeline to showcase their discoveries, spark new collaborations, and share knowledge and awareness in topics associated with blast injury.

Abstract submission is open. The deadline for submission is March 1, 2019. Abstracts should be submitted via the Centre's online submission portal. Please refer to the conference flyer and Abstract Submission for more details.

Registration for the Conference is also open, with "early bird" rates until May 31, 2019.

February 11, 2019

The 4th International Forum on Blast Injury Countermeasures (IFBIC 2019)

May 8-10, 2019

In recent years, attacks using explosive devices occur frequently, not only on battlefields and in regions of conflict, but also in urban areas in peacetime due to terrorism, resulting in a large number of blast injury victims. The U.S. Department of Defense uses the Taxonomy of Injuries from Explosive Devices (as described in DoDD 6025.21E) to organize blast injuries into five groupings based on their approximate order of temporal incidence upon the body following an explosion. Primary injuries result from the blast shock wave. Secondary injuries result from penetrating fragments of material accelerated by the blast. Tertiary injuries result from accelerative loading or blunt impact to tissues. Quaternary injuries include dermal burns and toxic gas inhalation. Quinary injuries include contamination by nuclear, chemical, or biological agents. Primary injuries that are peculiar to blast shockwave exposures include mild blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI), hearing loss, ocular injury, and lung injury. All body systems are vulnerable to secondary injuries due to penetrating fragments and tertiary injuries due to acceleration and blunt force trauma.

International cross-disciplinary collaboration is regarded as essential to investigate physical causes of blast injury, to characterize the vulnerability of anatomical systems and their functions to blasts, and to develop the means to prevent, mitigate, and treat blast injuries. Countermeasures may include personal protective equipment; weapons and vehicle systems engineered for safety; tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for injury prevention; and medical interventions tailored to the specific needs of blast injuries.

This International Forum on Blast Injury Countermeasures started as a Technical Information Exchange Forum between Japan and the United States, which brought together broad knowledge and expertise, and to share national experiences and evidence-based approaches for blast injuries. The previous three Japan-U.S. Technical Information Exchange Forum on Blast Injury (JUFBI) were held in June 2016, April 2017, and May 2018 in Tokyo. At the end of JUFBI 2018, the planning committee decided to change the name to International Forum on Blast Injury Countermeasures to reflect the expanding participation by additional nations such as Australia, Canada, Germany, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

These meetings have been very productive, involving active and fruitful discussions and exchange of creative ideas on a broad spectrum of blast injuries; identifying critical issues involving experimental and computational studies of blast-induced injuries; and creating new partnerships on joint research explorations to address the many scientific and technical challenges facing the field.

Building upon these successful meetings, the next International Forum on Blast Injury Countermeasures (IFBIC) 2019 will be held from Wednesday, May 8 – Friday, May 10, 2019 in McLean, VA, USA.

The objectives for the 4th Forum include:

  1. Assembly of an international forum focused on multi-disciplinary science and medicine necessary to increase our understanding of blast injury
  2. Achieving a mutual understanding of international efforts in blast injury research
  3. Identifying knowledge gaps requiring collaborative research
  4. Increasing understanding and promoting further collaboration to improve prevention, clinical diagnosis, and treatment of brain, lung, auditory, ocular, and other blast injuries

The meeting agenda includes the following broad topic areas. Innovative research beyond this topic list will also be considered:

  1. Blast injury epidemiology and environmental sensing of blast shockwave hazards
    1. Clinical prevalence of varieties of blast injuries sorted by context, anatomy, and severity
    2. Blast energy / physics / waveforms, reflections, effects of media (e.g., air vs. water vs. solid material)
    3. Blast sensor engineering, test and evaluation, fidelity, usability
    4. Correlation of blast sensing with clinical outcomes
    5. Use of multiple sensors to reconstruct blast phenomena
  2. Primary blast injury (due directly to shockwave effects)
    1. Experimentally derived injury risk criteria for anatomical structures and their functions, including brain, ocular, auditory, and lung
    2. Predicted incapacitation due to blast injuries (e.g., loss of neuromuscular control, reduced sensory or cognitive function, reduced respiration)
  3. Secondary (penetrating ballistic fragments) and tertiary (acceleration and blunt force) blast injury
    1. Experimentally derived injury risk criteria for anatomical structures and their functions
    2. Predicted incapacitation due to blast injuries (e.g., loss of musculoskeletal force)
  4. Long-term effects, cumulative effects, and chronic symptoms due to blast exposure
    1. Brain: aberrant protein expression and accumulation (e.g., phosphorylated Tau)
    2. Brain: chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)-like symptoms
    3. Brain: correlation and comorbidity with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    4. Effect of cumulative subclinical (i.e., not provoking diagnosis) exposures to blast phenomena for all body systems
    5. Effect of repeated clinical (i.e., provoking diagnosis) exposures to blast phenomena for all body systems
  5. Prevention, mitigation, treatment of blast injuries
    1. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as helmets, body armor, eye protection, hearing protection, etc.
    2. Weapon and vehicle systems engineered for safety in blast environments
    3. Tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for Warfighter safety in blast environments
    4. Operational mission planning for needed medical response
    5. Lessons learned from military operations
    6. Resilience training (e.g., stress inoculation, mindfulness-based cognitive therapies to prevent sequelae of psychological trauma from blast exposures)
    7. Biomedically-based design and acquisition standards for military equipment (materiel)
    8. Biomedically-based health hazard assessments
    9. Clinical current practices, interventions, surgeries, rehabilitative therapies
  6. Diagnostic measures / biomarkers
    1. Innovations in self-reported symptom inventories
    2. Innovations in diagnostics based on observations by clinical staff
    3. Innovations in molecular markers of blast injury
    4. Innovations in biomedical imaging measures of blast injury
    5. Innovations in behavioral or functional tests for blast injury
  7. Computational modeling and simulation of blast phenomena and blast injury
    1. Deformable finite element modeling (FEM) of stresses and strains
    2. Injury risk criteria applied to force-time histories from FEM
    3. Incapacitation risk criteria applied to injury predictions from FEM
    4. Shockwave modeling
    5. Innovations in coupling between computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and FEM
    6. Integration of computational models with blast sensors and other sensors (e.g., strain gauges or force transducers on cadavers or simulant manikins)
  8. New technology and methods for blast injury research and medicine
Contributions from all countries, as well as from young investigators, are welcome.

Abstract submission and registration information

December 27, 2018

NATO HFM-270 RTG Working Group Meeting was held December 3-7, 2018 in Stellenbosch, South Africa

On December 3-7, 2018, Mr. Leggieri chaired the seventh meeting of the NATO Human Factors and Medicine (HFM) 270 Research Task Group (RTG) in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The meeting took place at the Stellenbosch Facility of the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Natural Resources, and Environmental Business Unit. The objective of the RTG is to develop a framework for modeling and simulation (M&S) of human lethality, injury, and impairment from blast-related events. This M&S capability will enable the rapid development and testing of novel blast protection strategies in a virtual environment. During this meeting, the RTG members reviewed 61 computational modeling papers identified by the participating nations, identified models that are suitable for inclusion in the modeling framework, and aligned the identified models within the framework. The next task for the RTG is to perform a similar review and analysis on 200 computational modeling papers identified in the RTG's systematic literature review. Participation in the RTG supports the Executive Agent's (EA) responsibilities of facilitating collaboration within and outside the Department of Defense (DoD), identifying blast injury research gaps, and shaping programs to fill those gaps. Read more...

December 8, 2018

3rd Japan-US Technical Information Exchange Forum on Blast Injury (JUFBI 2018)

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On May 9-11, 2018, PCO leadership participated in the 3rd Japan-US Technical Information Exchange Forum on Blast Injury (JUFBI 2018) in Tokyo, Japan. The PCO organized the meeting in coordination with National Defense Medical College Japan, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), and U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command-ITC Office.

Download JUFBI-2018 Announcement (PDF 363 KB)

The purpose of this forum was to bring together international experts from diverse medical and engineering disciplines to exchange ideas in order to address a range of blast injury topics, including traumatic brain injury, auditory injury, and wound infection. This year’s forum included participants from the US, Japan, Korea, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Key objectives of the 3rd forum included gaining a mutual understanding ongoing efforts in blast injury research and identifying knowledge gaps requiring collaborative research. In support of these objectives, Dr. George Ludwig, Principal Assistant for Research and Technology, USAMRMC, gave a keynote address about recent innovations in military medicine and potential collaborative opportunities. In addition, meeting participants presented their research on a wide range of blast injury topics including new imaging and sensing modalities; blast-cell/tissue interactions and small animal models; auditory systems; effects of repeated exposures; blasts and blast simulators; translational research; computational modelling and experimental simulation; clinical and epidemiological studies; new therapies; and the microbiome and infection.

Abstracts and presentations from JUFBI 2018 will be published in the forum proceedings and made available on this website.

Read more about US-Japan Collaborations

May 16, 2018

2nd Japan-US Technical Information Exchange Forum on Blast Injury (JUFBI-2017)

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On April 14-16, 2017, Blast Injury Research Program Coordinating Office (PCO) Director, Mr. Leggieri, and PCO Deputy Director, Dr. Gupta, participated in the 2nd Japan-US Technical Information Exchange Forum on Blast Injury (JUFBI-2017) in Tokyo, Japan. The PCO organized this forum on behalf of the DoD Executive Agent in coordination with the National Defense Medical College of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), and US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) International Technology Center-Pacific (ITC-PAC).

Download JUFBI-2017 Announcement (PDF 122 KB)

Approximately 100 attendees participated in JUFBI-2017. US participants included representatives from the US Army Medical and Materiel Command, US Army Research Laboratory, RDECOM (ITC-PAC), New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, and the Icahn School of Medicine, Mt. Sanai, New York, New York. Japan participants included representatives from the Ministry of Defense of Japan, JSDF, and academia. This year's forum also included participants from the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies at the Imperial College London, United Kingdom.

The objectives of JUFBI-2017 include achieving a mutual understating of Japan/US efforts in blast injury research; identifying knowledge gaps requiring collaborative research; and increasing understanding and collaboration to improve prevention, clinical diagnosis, and treatment of brain, lung, and auditory blast injuries. In support of these objectives, presentation topics covered a wide range of blast injury issues, including traumatic brain injury, auditory injury, and wound infections. Proceedings of JUFBI-2017 are being prepared and will be posted on this website when available.

Read More about US - Japan Collaboration.

April 25, 2017

Virginia Bio's THRiVE Conference

Stage photo

On April 6, 2017, the Brain Health Research Program Coordinator, COL Sidney Hinds II, was an invited speaker at Virginia Bio's 2017 THRiVE conference held in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The purpose of this conference was to bring Virginia-based academia and industry together with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to discuss the potential for future technological growth within the area. Attendees included leaders of large bioscience companies and startups, healthcare providers, research universities, investors, nonprofits, and professional service providers. Speakers discussed initiatives to attract industry to Virginia and efforts to increase Veteran participation by having them lead the newly formed companies. COL Hinds presented a lecture on ways that potential collaborators would be able to work with the DoD and the VA by highlighting the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium. COL Hinds' participation in this conference is in keeping with the mission of the Blast Injury Research Program Coordinating Office and is instrumental in fostering continued collaboration between DoD and industry/private partners.

April 6, 2017

Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill

The Brain Health Research Program Coordinator and well known US Army neurologist, COL Sidney Hinds II, represented the DoD Blast Injury Research Program Coordinating Office (PCO) at the annual Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill on March 22, 2017. (Read more here and here)

The event, held within the Rayburn Building, was sponsored by Congressmen Bill Pascrell (NJ) and Thomas Rooney (FL) and supported by numerous public and private organizations. The day's event included the Brain Injury Awareness Fair, the panel discussion, "Faces of Brain Injury: The Invisible Disability Affecting Children and Adults," and an evening reception.

Throughout the day, COL Hinds met with individuals from various organizations across the DoD, other federal agencies, industry, and non-profits. Through these discussions, COL Hinds reinforced DoD's commitment to providing the best traumatic brain injury (TBI) clinical care, education and resources for US Service Members, Veterans, and their loved ones, in a timely manner. This included a meeting with Samantha Lambert, Miss Pennsylvania 2016, who shared her experience as a TBI survivor, after suffering from a head injury as a teenager, and discussed her pageant platform, "Heads Up: Brain Injury Awareness." Read more about Miss Pennsylvania 2016, on social media here and here.

COL Hinds' participation in the day's events supports the PCO's Executive Agent responsibilities to bring awareness to brain trauma related research issues, facilitate collaboration, and promote information sharing.

March 22, 2017

Icon: Collaboration

For more information on facilitating collaboration within and outside of the Department of Defense, read more...

Last modified: 03-Aug-2017