Quantification of Skeletal and Soft Tissue Contributions to Thoracic Response in a Dynamic Frontal Loading Scenario 2018-22-0005
Thoracic injuries continue to be a major health concern in motor vehicle crashes. Previous thoracic research has focused on 50th percentile males and utilized scaling techniques to apply results to different demographics. Individual rib testing offers the advantage of capturing demographic differences; however, understanding of rib properties in the context of the intact thorax is lacking. Therefore, the objective of this study was to obtain the data necessary to develop a transfer function between individual rib and thoracic response. A series of non-injurious frontal impacts were conducted on six PMHS, creating a loading environment commensurate to previously published individual rib testing. Each PMHS was tested in four tissue states: intact, intact with upper limbs removed, denuded, and eviscerated. Following eviscerated thoracic testing, eight individual mid-level ribs from each PMHS were removed and loaded to failure. A simplified model in which ribs of each thorax are treated as parallel springs was utilized to evaluate the ability of individual rib response data to predict each subject’s eviscerated thoracic response. On average across subjects, denuded thoraces retained 89% and eviscerated thoraces retained 46% of intact force. Similarly, denuded thoraces retained 70% and eviscerated thoraces retained 30% of intact stiffness. The rib model did not adequately predict eviscerated thoracic response but provided a better understanding of the influence of connective tissue on a rib’s behavior with-in the thorax. Results of this study could be used in conjunction with the database of individual rib test results to improve thoracic response targets and help assess biofidelity of current anthropomorphic test devices.