Recent Advances in Brain Injury Research: A New Human Head Model Development and Validation 2001-22-0017
Many finite element models have been developed by several research groups in order to achieve a better understanding of brain injury. Due to the lack of experimental data, validation of these models has generally been limited. Consequently, applying these models to investigate brain responses has also been limited. Over the last several years, several versions of the Wayne State University brain injury model (WSUBIM) were developed. However, none of these models is capable of simulating indirect impacts with an angular acceleration higher than 8,000 rad/s2. Additionally, the density and quality of the mesh in the regions of interest are not detailed and sensitive enough to accurately predict the stress/strain level associated with a wide range of impact severities. In this study, WSUBIM version 2001, capable of simulating direct and indirect impacts with a combined translational and rotational acceleration of the head up to 200 g and 12,000 rad/s2 has been developed. This new finely meshed model, consisting of more than 314,500 elements and 281,800 nodes, also simulates an anatomically detailed facial bone model. An additional new feature of the model is the damageable material property representation of the facial bone and the skull, allowing it to simulate bony fractures. The model was subjected to extensive validation using published cadaveric test data. These data include the intracranial and ventricular pressure data reported by Nahum et al. (1977) and Trosseille et al. (1992), the relative displacement data between the brain and the skull reported by King et al. (1999) and Hardy et al. (2001), and the facial impact data reported by Nyquist et al. (1986) and Allsop et al. (1988). With the enhanced accuracy of model predictions offered by this new model, along with new experimental data, it is hoped that it will become a powerful tool to further our understanding of the mechanisms of injury and the tolerance of the brain to blunt impact.