Effect of Abdominal Loading Location on Liver Motion: Experimental Assessment using Ultrafast Ultrasound Imaging and Simulation with a Human Body Model 2016-22-0003
A protocol based on ultrafast ultrasound imaging was applied to study the in situ motion of the liver while the abdomen was subjected to compressive loading at 3 m/s by a hemispherical impactor or a seatbelt. The loading was applied to various locations between the lower abdomen and the mid thorax while feature points inside the liver were followed on the ultrasound movie (2000 frames per second). Based on tests performed on five post mortem human surrogates (including four tested in the current study), trends were found between the loading location and feature point trajectory parameters such as the initial angle of motion or the peak displacement in the direction of impact. The impactor tests were then simulated using the GHBMC M50 human body model that was globally scaled to the dimensions of each surrogate. Some of the experimental trends observed could be reproduced in the simulations (e.g. initial angle) while others differed more widely (e.g. final caudal motion). The causes for the discrepancies need to be further investigated. The liver strain energy density predicted by the model was also widely affected by the impact location. Experimental and simulation results both highlight the importance of the liver position with respect to the impactor when studying its response in situ.