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Automatic generation and validation of patient-specific finite element head models suitable for crashworthiness analysis
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Neuronic Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9785-2071
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Neuronic Engineering.
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Neuronic Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0125-0784
2009 (English)In: International Journal of Crashworthiness, ISSN 1358-8265, E-ISSN 1754-2111, Vol. 14, no 6, 555-563 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A method to automatically generate finite element (FE) head models is presented in this paper. Individual variation in geometry of the head should be taken into consideration in future injury-prediction research. To avoid inter- and intra-operator variation due to manual segmentation, a robust and accurate algorithm is suggested. The current approach utilises expectation maximisation classification and skull stripping. The whole process from geometry extraction to model generation is converted into an automatic scheme. The models that are generated from the proposed method are validated in terms of segmentation accuracy, element quality and injury-prediction ability. The segmentations of the white matter and grey matter are about 90% accurate and the models have good element quality, with 94% of the elements having a Jacobian above 0.5. Using the experimental data from post-mortem human subject heads, nodal displacements were compared with the data collected from the simulations with the FE head models. The results are promising, indicating that the proposed method is good enough to generate patient-specific model for brain injury prediction. Further improvement can be made in terms of geometry accuracy and element quality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 14, no 6, 555-563 p.
Keyword [en]
human head model; finite element analysis; automatic model generation; localised brain motion
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9580DOI: 10.1080/13588260902895708ISI: 000274698300004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-71449118841OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-9580DiVA: diva2:126644
Note
QC 20100810. Uppdaterad från manuskript till artikel i tidskrift (20100810).Available from: 2008-11-19 Created: 2008-11-19 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Generation of Patient Specific Finite Element Head Models
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Generation of Patient Specific Finite Element Head Models
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a great burden for the society worldwide and the statisticsindicates a relative constant total annual rate of TBI. It seems that the present preventativestrategies are not sufficient. To be able to develop head safety measures against accidents ine.g. sports or automobile environment, one needs to understand the mechanism behindtraumatic brain injuries. Through the years, different test subjects have been used, such ascadavers, animals and crash dummies, but there are ethical issues in animal and human testingusing accelerations at injury-level and crash dummies are not completely human-like. In aFinite Element (FE) head model, the complex shape of the intracranial components can bemodeled and mechanical entities, such as pressure, stresses and strains, can be quantified atany theoretical point. It is suggested that the size of the head, the skull-brain boundarycondition, the heterogeneity, and the tethering and suspension system can alter the mechanicalresponse of the brain. It can be seen that the shape of the skull, the composition of gray andwhite matter, the distribution of sulci, the volume of cerebrospinal fluid and geometry of othersoft tissues varies greatly between individuals. All this, suggests the development of patientspecific FE head models.A method to generate patient specific FE head model was contrived based on the geometryfrom Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans. The geometry was extracted usingexpectation maximization classification and the mesh of the FE head model was constructedby directly converting the pixel into hexahedral elements. The generated FE model had goodelement quality, the geometrical details were more than 90 % accurate and it correlated wellwith experimental data of relative brain-skull motion. The method was thought to beautomatic but some hypothetically important anatomical structures were not possible to beextracted from medical images. This leads to investigations on the biomechanical influence ofthe cerebral vasculature, the falx and tentorium complex. It was found that biomechanicalinfluence of the cerebral vasculature was minimal, due to the convoluting geometry and thenon-linear elastic material properties of the blood vessels. It suggests that futurebiomechanical FE head model does not necessarily have to include these blood vessels. Theinclusion of falx and tentorium in an FE head model has on the other hand a substantialbiomechanical influence by affecting its surrounding tissue. Therefore, in the investigation ofthe biomechanical influence of the sulci, the falx and tentorium were manually added to theanatomically detailed 3D FE head model. The biomechanical influence of the sulci haspreviously not been studied in 3D and the results indicated an obvious reduction of the strainin the model with sulci compared to the model without sulci in all simulations, and mostinteresting was the consistent reduction of strain in the corpus callosum. The development ofgyri not only produces a larger area for synapses but also forms the sulci to protect the brainfrom external forces.Based on the results, a patient specific FE head model for traumatic brain injury predictionshould at least include the skull, cerebrospinal fluid, falx, tentorium and pia mater, in additionto the brain. With these anatomically detailed 3D models, the injury biomechanics can bebetter understood. Hopefully, the burden of TBI to the society can be alleviated with betterprotective systems and improved understanding of the patients’ condition and hence, theirmedical treatments

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. vi, 39 p.
Series
Trita-STH : report, ISSN 1653-3836 ; 2008:7
Keyword
Injury Prevention, Patient Specific, Finite Element Head Model, Anatomical Structures
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9585 (URN)978-91-7415-191-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-12-12, Lecture hall 3-221, Alfred Nobels Allé 10, Huddinge, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100811Available from: 2008-11-21 Created: 2008-11-19 Last updated: 2010-08-11Bibliographically approved

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