JOURNAL OF ELASTICITY
© 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht Diffuse brain injury is caused by rapid rotation of the head, and causes strain injury to tissue throughout the brain. Following strain injury, axons exhibit delayed recovery, showing regional buckling behavior immediately after stretch and returning to their original appearance over an extended period of time. This axonal buckling is hypothesized to occur as a result of localized stretching within the axon: Rapid strain causes mechanical damage to microtubules, increasing the effective length of axons. This damage is repaired gradually returning the axon to its initial length. Here, we test the hypothesis that localized stretching is a possible explanation for the regional buckling behavior. An elongated region of axon is modeled as an Euler beam on an elastic foundation, where the foundation represents the surrounding brain tissue, which consists of glial cells and extracellular matrix. After stretch the elastic foundation returns immediately to its pre-stretch length, while the axon is initially elongated and returns to its original length over a longer period of time. The model exhibits solutions similar to those observed experimentally in post-stretch axons, with undulations that have a similar wavelength and amplitude.
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