Dynamics of Bubble Growth in Spinal Cord Tissue

When tissues are supersaturated with dissolved gasses, from, for instance, a rapid ascent in scuba diving, gas bubbles may form in the tissue, resulting in decompression sickness. We work on understanding how the growing bubble damages the surrounding tissue, and what the best strategy for treatment is.

We work two model systems: agarose gels and ex-vivo bovine spinal cords. The agarose gels provide a well-defined model system to explore the physics behind bubble formation and interactions between a growing bubble and the surrounding medium, such as elastic expansion, viscoelastic creep, and fracture.