Methodologies and gauges for intracranial pressure measurements


  1. Lee, J.
  2. Rude, G.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Centre, Ralston AB (CAN)
The present work describes the development of methodologies to reliably make in-situ pressure measurements inside biological tissue, with a particular focus on intracranial pressure (ICP) in blast environments. Shock propagation in tissue presents some unique pressure measurement challenges due to the heterogeneous and primarily liquid environment. The relative incompressibility of water as compared to air leads to microsecond-scale blast waves and unique phenomena such as cavitation which must be considered when designing a measurement approach. In the present work, we examine the behaviour of a number of different pressure gauge types, e.g. piezo-electric, piezo-resistive, optical / interferometric, under different blast conditions. An apparatus consisting of a fluid-filled, thin-shelled sphere mounted inside a blast wave simulator was used to replicate some of the shock interactions in blast – ICP situations. The results of this work outline specific limitations of different gauges such as bandwidth, orientation dependence, and the generation of signal artefacts. In addition, we will discuss the necessary signal conditioning and recording characteristics, and overall approaches to accurately reproduce pressure histories of shock and blast interactions in biological tissue.
ICP;pressure gauges;blast;shock tube;shock wave
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2018-N004 — External Literature
Date of publication
01 Jan 2018
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
PASS 2016 Personal Armour Systems Symposium (PASS), The International Personal Armour Committee (IPAC)
Electronic Document(PDF)

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