Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-22-0004
2001-11-01

Development of a Finite Element Model of the Human Abdomen 2001-22-0004

Currently, three-dimensional finite element models of the human body have been developed for frequently injured anatomical regions such as the brain, chest, extremities and pelvis. While a few models of the human body include the abdomen, these models have tended to oversimplify the complexity of the abdominal region. As the first step in understanding abdominal injuries via numerical methods, a 3D finite element model of a 50th percentile male human abdomen (WSUHAM) has been developed and validated against experimental data obtained from two sets of side impact tests and a series of frontal impact tests. The model includes a detailed representation of the liver, spleen, kidneys, spine, skin and major blood vessels. Hollow organs, such as the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, gallbladder, bile ducts, ureters, rectum and adrenal glands are grouped into three bodybags in order to provide realistic inertial properties and to maintain the position of the solid organs in their appropriate locations. Using direct connections, the model was joined superiorly to a partial model of the human thorax, and inferiorly to models of the human pelvis and the lower extremities that have been previously developed. Material properties for various tissues of the abdomen were derived from the literature. Data obtained in a series of cadaveric pendulum impact tests conducted at Wayne State University (WSU), a series of lateral drop tests conducted at Association Peugeot-Renault (APR) and a series of cadaveric lower abdomen frontal impact tests conducted at WSU were used to validate the model. Results predicted by the model match these experimental data for various impact speeds, impactor masses and drop heights. Further study is still needed in order to fully validate WSUHAM before it can be used to assess various impact loading conditions associated with vehicular crashes.

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