Mortality Index of Wild-Type Drosophila Melanogaster, Utilizing the High Impact Trauma (HIT) Device

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Publication Date


Date Assignment Submitted



Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are the leading cause of neurological deficits and mortality worldwide (Masel BE, DeWitt DS, 2010). This disease process induces a cascade of molecular events that lead to brain cell damage and death. To investigate TBI’s effect on mortality, we utilized the mechanical high-impact trauma (HIT) device, using a Drosophila melanogaster model (Katzenberger et al., 2013). The flies were exposed to high force, acceleration, and deceleration, similar to TBI events in humans. We analyzed the mortality index to observe if there is a correlation between the number of traumatic brain injuries and death. Our biostatistical data indicate a correlation between the number of hits and death, indicating that the number of traumatic brain injury events inflicted increases the likelihood of death. However, additional strikes did not significantly increase the mortality index. Based on observation seen when analyzing the mortality index, flies subjected to TBI experienced temporary ataxia and incapacitation. Subjects appeared to regain motor function within the rest period. Therefore, we will analyze the locomotor function of the flies following TBI, utilizing the HIT device. The primary and secondary injuries that ensue after a TBI can have detrimental effects on motor function (Katzenberger et al., 2013). We will perform climbing assays, utilizing the Drosophila Activity Monitor device (DAM) to assess how traumatic brain injuries disrupt motor function in flies.


Lynn University


Lynn University Student Research Symposium


Poster Presentation


Boca Raton, FL


College of Arts and Sciences


Dr. Kimberly Rowland

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