Neurosurgery Labs at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center
The laboratories at the Zablocki VA Medical Center include comprehensive capabilities from microscopic, cellular, and gene level evaluations, to vehicle crashworthiness. This is the only facility which has all the above capabilities in an academic, hospital-based setting.
Other tissue-related laboratories include a high-speed electrohydraulic piston and drop tower. These facilities are all complemented with complete hospital clinical assessments including x-ray, MRI and CT imaging. Complete micro-level laboratories include: tissue culture and cellular imaging analysis, stem cell biology, histology and immunohistochemistry facilities, and neurobiology facility for protein isolation and expression analyses, and real-time PCR thermocycler for gene expression quantification.
One component testing laboratory houses two electrohydraulic piston testing apparatus, 3D motion capture system, 7.5 m drop tower, surgical preparation room, and small-scale blast tube.
A separate facility includes an acceleration servo sled laboratory to conduct frontal-, side-, rear-, and oblique-impact simulations using various types of anthropomorphic surrogates. It also houses a second component testing laboratory with overhead swinging pendulum, 6.5 m drop tower, and 3D motion capture equipment. These laboratories have been involved in providing data for biofidelity evaluations of various standard and prototype anthropomorphic test devices (dummies) under various crash modes. The information generated in these laboratories is constantly being used to develop new criteria to assess the crashworthiness of vehicles.
A full-scale vehicle crash laboratory is equipped and staffed for testing vehicles under frontal and side-impact scenarios. The facility has a 471 ft. track with a 200 horse power DC motor and state-of-the-art data acquisition systems. Current projects include testing for the US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). There are currently only four other facilities around the country that conducts NCAP testing for the NHTSA.
Crash test results for this consumer information program are obtainable at http://www.safercar.gov/.