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Correlation of an FE Model of the Human Head with Local Brain Motion: Consequences for Injury Prediction
KTH, Superseded Departments, Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0125-0784
2002 (English)In: Stapp Car Crash journal, ISSN 1532-8546, Vol. 46, 123-144 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A parameterized, or scalable, finite element (FE) model of the human head was developed and validated against the available cadaver experiment data for three impact directions (frontal, occipital and lateral). The brain material properties were modeled using a hyperelastic and viscoelastic constitutive law. The interface between the skull and the brain was modeled in three different ways ranging from purely tied (no-slip) to sliding (free-slip). Two sliding contact definitions were compared with the tied condition. Also, three different stiffness parameters, encompassing the range of published brain tissue properties, were tested. The model using the tied contact definition correlated well with the experimental results for the coup and contrecoup pressures in a frontal impact while the sliding interface models did not. Relative motion between the skull and the brain in lowseverity impacts appears to be relatively insensitive to the contact definitions. It is shown that a range of shear stiffness properties for the brain can be used to model the pressure experiments, while relative motion is a more complex measure that is highly sensitive to the brain tissue properties. Smaller relative motion between the brain and skull results from lateral impact than from a frontal or occipital blow for both the experiments and FE simulations. The material properties of brain tissue are important to the characteristics of relative brain-skull motion. The results suggest that significantly lower values of the shear properties of the human brain than currently used in most three-dimensional (3D) FE models today are needed to predict the localized brain response of an impact to the human head.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 46, 123-144 p.
Keyword [en]
Finite element (FE) analysis, human head, brain displacement, intracranial pressure, brain material properties
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12478PubMedID: 17096222OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-12478DiVA: diva2:315193
Note
QC 20100428Available from: 2010-04-28 Created: 2010-04-28 Last updated: 2011-02-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Finite Element Modeling of the Human Head
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Finite Element Modeling of the Human Head
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The main objectives of the present thesis were to define the dimension of head injuries in Sweden over a longer period and to present a Finite Element (FE) model of the human head which can be used for preventive strategies in the future. The annual incidence of head injuries in Sweden between 1987 and 2000 was defined at over 22 000, cases most of which were mild head injuries. In contrast to traffic accidents, head injuriy due to fall was the most important etiology. Of special interest was that the number of hematoma cases has increased.

A detailed and parameterized FE model of the human head was developed and used to evaluate the effects of head size, brain size and impact directions. The maximal effective stresses in the brain increased more than a fourfold, from 3.6 kPa for the smallest head size to 16.3 kPa for the largest head size using the same acceleration impulse. The size dependence of the intracranial stresses associated with injury is not predicted by the Head Injury Criterion (HIC). Simulations with various brain sizes indicated that the increased risk of Subdural Hematoma (SDH) in elderly people may to a part be explained by the reduced brain size resulting in a larger relative motion between the skull and the brain with distension of bridging veins. The consequences of this increased relative motion due to brain atrophy cannot be predicted by existing injury criteria.

From studies of the influence of impact directions to the human head, the highest shear strain in the brain stem is found for a Superior-Inferior (SI) translational impulse, and in the corpus callosum for a lateral rotational impulse when imposing acceleration pulses corresponding to the same impact power. It was concluded that HIC is unable to predict consequences of a pure rotational impulse, while the Head Impact Power (HIP) criterion needs individual scaling coefficients for the different terms to account for differences in intracranial response due to a variation in load direction. It is also suggested that a further evaluation of synergic effects of the directional terms of the HIP is necessary to include combined terms and to improve the injuryprediction.

Comparison of the model with experiments on localized motion of the brain shows that the magnitude and characteristics of the deformation are highly sensitive to the shear properties of the brain tissue. The results suggest that significantly lower values of these properties of the human brain than utilized in most 3D FE models today must be used to be able to predict the localised brain response of an impact to the human head. There is a symmetry in the motion of the superior and inferior markers for both the model and the experiments following a sagittal and a coronal impact. This can possibly be explained by the nearly incompressible properties of brain tissue. Larger relative motion between the skull and the brain is more apparent for an occipital impact than for a frontal one in both experiments and FE model. This correlates with clinical findings. Moreover, smaller relative motion between the skull and the brain is more apparent for a lateral impact than for a frontal one for both experiments and FE model. This is thought to be due to the supporting structure of the falx cerebri.

Such a parametrized and detailed 3D model of the human head has not, to the best knowledge of the author, previously been developed. This 3D model is thought to be of significant value for looking into the effects of geometrical variations of the human head.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2002. ix, 49 p.
Series
Report. Department of Aeronautics, 2002-9
Keyword
Finite element method (FEM), Human head, brain, head injury, epidemiology, statistics, simulations.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3347 (URN)
Public defence
2002-05-29, 00:00 (English)
Note
QC 20100428 NR 20140805Available from: 2002-05-22 Created: 2002-05-22 Last updated: 2010-04-28Bibliographically approved

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