Effect of Shock-Induced Cavitation Bubble Collapse on the damage in the Simulated Perineuronal Net of the Brain

YT Wu and A Adnan, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7, 5323 (2017).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-05790-3

The purpose of this study is to conduct modeling and simulation to understand the effect of shockinduced mechanical loading, in the form of cavitation bubble collapse, on damage to the brain's perineuronal nets (PNNs). It is known that high-energy implosion due to cavitation collapse is responsible for corrosion or surface damage in many mechanical devices. In this case, cavitation refers to the bubble created by pressure drop. The presence of a similar damage mechanism in biophysical systems has long being suspected but not well-explored. In this paper, we use reactive molecular dynamics (MD) to simulate the scenario of a shock wave induced cavitation collapse within the perineuronal net (PNN), which is the near-neuron domain of a brain's extracellular matrix (ECM). Our model is focused on the damage in hyaluronan (HA), which is the main structural component of PNN. We have investigated the roles of cavitation bubble location, shockwave intensity and the size of a cavitation bubble on the structural evolution of PNN. Simulation results show that the localized supersonic water hammer created by an asymmetrical bubble collapse may break the hyaluronan. As such, the current study advances current knowledge and understanding of the connection between PNN damage and neurodegenerative disorders.

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