Development of an FE Model of the Rat Head Subjected to Air Shock Loading
As early as the 1950's, Gurdjian and colleagues (Gurdjian et al., 1955) observed that brain injuries could occur by direct pressure loading without any global head accelerations. This pressure-induced injury mechanism was "forgotten" for some time and is being rekindled due to the many mild traumatic brain injuries attributed to blast overpressure. The aim of the current study was to develop a finite element (FE) model to predict the biomechanical response of rat brain under a shock tube environment. The rat head model, including more than 530,000 hexahedral elements with a typical element size of 100 to 300 microns was developed based on a previous rat brain model for simulating a blunt controlled cortical impact. An FE model, which represents gas flow in a 0.305-m diameter shock tube, was formulated to provide input (incident) blast overpressures to the rat model. It used an Eulerian approach and the predicted pressures were verified with experimental data.