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Feb 2 2021

The Biomechanics of Traumatic Brain Injury

MIE Department Seminar

February 2, 2021

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Zoom at


Chicago, IL 60612

The Biomechanics of Traumatic Brain Injury

Location: Zoom at

Presenter: Matthew Panzer, PhD, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia

Abstract: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) presents an urgent public health concern, with 1.5 – 3.6 million concussions occurring annually in the United States from impacts sustained during falls, motor vehicle accidents, and competitive sport. Understanding the biomechanics of TBI can have a substantial influence on how we predict, diagnose, and prevent brain injury - from assessing head impact severity measured from wearable sensors, to evaluating the efficacy of helmets, and to assessing the safety of cars. In this talk, we will discuss the ways biomechanical engineers are determining the relationship between head impact exposure in the sports and automotive environment to brain deformation and TBI. We will examine the dynamics of the human brain subject to injurious loading using experimental and computational techniques and show why some head impacts are worse than others. Finally, we discuss how exposure in animal models can be scaled to humans using biomechanical principles, and what this may mean for existing preclinical injury models

Speaker Bio: Dr. Panzer is an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia. He graduated with his PhD from Duke University in biomedical engineering in 2012, and with his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada where he is originally from. He is the deputy director at the UVA Center for Applied Biomechanics, which is the world’s largest academic injury biomechanics laboratory, and is a member of the UVA Brain Injury and Sports Concussion Center. Panzer’s research focuses on identifying the mechanisms and criteria that are responsible for injuries that occur from impacts in sports, automotive crashes, and military events. The ultimate objective of these efforts is to provide the science and tools necessary to develop solutions that will mitigate the severity and risk of injury. A substantial portion of Panzer’s research is toward understanding the biomechanics that cause traumatic brain injury, employing a combination of state-of-the-art experimental, analytical, and computational methods using human and animal surrogates.


Prof. John Finan

Date posted

Jan 20, 2021

Date updated

Jan 26, 2021