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Technical Paper

Oblique Lateral Impact Biofidelity Deflection Corridors from Post Mortem Human Surrogates

The objective of the study was to determine the thorax and abdomen deflection-time corridors in oblique side impacts. Data were analyzed from Post Mortem Human Surrogate (PMHS) sled tests, certain aspects of which were previously published. A modular and scalable anthropometry-specific segmented load-wall system was fixed to the platform of the sled. Region-specific forces were recorded from load cells attached to the load-wall plates. The thorax and abdomen regions were instrumented with chestbands, and deflection contours were obtained. Biomechanical responses were processed using the impulse-momentum normalization method and scaled to the mid-size male mass, 76-kg. The individual effective masses of the thorax and abdomen were used to determine the scale factors in each sled test, thus using the response from each experiment. The maximum deflections and their times of attainments were obtained, and mean and plus minus one standard deviation corridors were derived.
Technical Paper

Thoraco-Abdominal Deflection Responses of Post Mortem Human Surrogates in Side Impacts

The objective of the present study was to determine the thorax and abdomen deflections sustained by post mortem human surrogate (PMHS) in oblique side impact sled tests and compare the responses and injuries with pure lateral tests. Oblique impact tests were conducted using modular and non-modular load-wall designs, with the former capable of accommodating varying anthropometry. Tests were conducted at 6.7 m/s velocity. Deflection responses from chestbands were analyzed from 15 PMHS tests: five each from modular load-wall oblique, non-modular load-wall oblique and non-modular load-wall pure lateral impacts. The thorax and abdomen peak deflections were greater in non-modular load-wall oblique than pure lateral tests. Peak abdomen deflections were statistically significantly different while the upper thorax deflections demonstrated a trend towards significance.
Technical Paper

Lower Cervical Spine Loading in Frontal Sled Tests Using Inverse Dynamics: Potential Applications for Lower Neck Injury Criteria

Lower cervical spine injuries are more common in survivors of motor vehicle crashes sustaining neck trauma. Injury criteria are determined using upper neck loads in dummies although a lower neck load cell exists. Due to a paucity of lower neck data from post mortem human subject (PMHS) studies, this research was designed to determine the head-neck biomechanics with a focus on lower neck metrics and injuries. Sixteen frontal impact tests were conducted using five belted PMHS. Instrumentation consisted of a pyramid-shaped nine accelerometer package on the head, tri-axial accelerometer on T1, and uniaxial accelerometer on the sled. Three-dimensional kinematics of the head-neck complex were obtained using a 20-camera high-speed motion analysis system. Testing sequence was: low (3.6 m/s), medium (6.9 m/s), repeat low, and high (15.8 m/s) velocities. Trauma evaluations were made between tests. Testing was terminated upon confirmation of injuries.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Responses of Intact Post Mortem Human Surrogates from Inferior-to-Superior Loading at the Pelvis

During certain events such as underbody blasts due to improvised explosive devices, occupants in military vehicles are exposed to inferior-to-superior loading from the pelvis. Injuries to the pelvis-sacrum-lumbar spine complex have been reported from these events. The mechanism of load transmission and potential variables defining the migration of injuries between pelvis and or spinal structures are not defined. This study applied inferior-to-superior impacts to the tuberosities of the ischium of supine-positioned five post mortem human subjects (PMHS) using different acceleration profiles, defined using shape, magnitude and duration parameters. Seventeen tests were conducted. Overlay temporal plots were presented for normalized (impulse momentum approach) forces and accelerations of the sacrum and spine.
Technical Paper

Comparison of PMHS, WorldSID, and THOR-NT Responses in Simulated Far Side Impact

Injury to the far side occupant has been demonstrated as a significant portion of the total trauma in side impacts. The objective of the study was to determine the response of PMHS in far side impact configurations, with and without generic countermeasures, and compare responses to the WorldSID and THOR dummies. A far side impact buck was designed for a sled test system that included a center console and three-point belt system. The buck allowed for additional options of generic countermeasures including shoulder or thorax plates or an inboard shoulder belt. The entire buck could be mounted on the sled in either a 90-degree (3-o'clock PDOF) or a 60-degree (2-o'clock PDOF) orientation. A total of 18 tests on six PMHS were done to characterize the far side impact environment at both low (11 km/h) and high (30 km/h) velocities. WorldSID and THOR-NT tests were completed in the same configurations to conduct matched-pair comparisons.
Technical Paper

Experimental Study of Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury Using a Physical Head Model

This study was conducted to quantify intracranial biomechanical responses and external blast overpressures using physical head model to understand the biomechanics of blast traumatic brain injury and to provide experimental data for computer simulation of blast-induced brain trauma. Ellipsoidal-shaped physical head models, made from 3-mm polycarbonate shell filled with Sylgard 527 silicon gel, were used. Six blast tests were conducted in frontal, side, and 45° oblique orientations. External blast overpressures and internal pressures were quantified with ballistic pressure sensors. Blast overpressures, ranging from 129.5 kPa to 769.3 kPa, were generated using a rigid cannon and 1.3 to 3.0 grams of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) plastic sheet explosive (explosive yield of 13.24 kJ and TNT equivalent mass of 2.87 grams for 3 grams of material).
Technical Paper

A Finite Element Model of Region-Specific Response for Mild Diffuse Brain Injury

It is well known that rotational loading is responsible for a spectrum of diffuse brain injuries spanning from concussion to diffuse axonal trauma. Many experimental studies have been performed to understand the pathological and biomechanical factors associated with diffuse brain injuries. Finite element models have also been developed to correlate experimental findings with intrinsic variables such as strain. However, a paucity of studies exists examining the combined role of the strain-time parameter. Consequently, using the principles of finite element analysis, the present study introduced the concept of sustained maximum principal strain (SMPS) criterion and explored its potential applicability to diffuse brain injury. An algorithm was developed to determine if the principal strain in a finite element of the brain exceeded a specified magnitude over a specific time interval.
Technical Paper

Characterizing Occipital Condyle Loads Under High-Speed Head Rotation

Because of the need to evaluate anthropomorphic test device (ATD) biofidelity under high-head angular accelerations, the purpose of the present investigation was to develop appropriate instrumentation for intact post mortem human subject (PMHS) testing, validate the instrumentation, and obtain information to characterize the response of the head-neck complex under this loading scenario. A series of rigid-arm pendulum, inertially loaded ATD tests was conducted. Head and neck ATD hydraulic piston chin pull tests were conducted. Subsequently, a series of PMHS tests was conducted to derive the response of the human head-neck under high-rate chin loading. Finally, Hybrid III and THOR-NT ATD head-neck systems were evaluated under the same scenario as the PMHS. A parametric analysis for center of gravity (CG) location and accelerometer orientation determined that even small errors (± 3 mm or 2 degrees), produced errors in the force and moment calculations by as much as 17%.
Technical Paper

Three-Year-Old Child Out-Of-Position Side Airbag Studies

A series of twenty-nine tests was completed by conducting static deployment of side airbag systems to an out-of-position Hybrid III three-year-old dummy. Mock-ups (bucks) of vehicle occupant compartments were constructed. The dummy was placed in one of four possible positions for both door- and seat-mounted side airbag systems. When data from each type of position test were combined for the various injury parameters it was noted that the head injury criteria (HIC) were maximized for head and neck tests, and the chest injury parameters were maximized for the chest tests. For the neck injury parameters, however, all of the test positions produced high values for at least one of the parameters. The study concluded the following. Static out-of- position child dummy side airbag testing is one possible method to evaluate the potential for injury for worst-case scenarios. The outcome of these tests are sensitive to preposition and various measurements should be made to reproduce the tests.
Technical Paper

Biomechanics of Inertial Head-Neck Trauma: Role of Cervical Components

Inertial loading of the head-neck complex occurs in rear impacts wherein the head and neck of the occupant are initially subjected to rearward forces. Epidemiological evidence exists to demonstrate the significance and societal impact of these injuries [4]. From a clinical perspective, trauma secondary to inertial loads belongs to the lower end of the Abbreviated Injury Scale, and no specific diagnostic techniques are available to quantitatively document the injury. Furthermore, identification of the mechanisms of injury and derivation of injury thresholds are limited. In fact, there is a paucity of literature focusing on the reproduction of rear impact-induced neck injuries due to a single-event rear impact. Because the impact acceleration is transmitted to the head from the torso via the cervical column, the components of the human neck play a role in the mechanics of trauma.
Technical Paper

Age-Specific Pediatric Cervical Spine Biomechanical Responses: Three-Dimensional Nonlinear Finite Element Models

In this study, three-dimensional nonlinear finite element models of age-specific one year old, three year old, and six year old pediatric human cervical spine (C4-C5-C6) structures were developed. Their biomechanical responses were compared with the adult human cervical spine behavior under different loadings and at all load levels. The adult human cervical spine model was constructed from close-up computed tomography sections in the axial and sagittal planes, and sequential anatomic cryomicrotome sections. The adult model was validated with experimental moment-rotation data under flexion-extension and compression by correlating bilateral strains in the vertebral body and the lateral masses, and the force-deflection responses with experiments conducted in our laboratory. The adult model was modified to create one, three and six year old pediatric spines by incorporating the local geometrical and material characteristics of the developmental anatomy.
Technical Paper

Response Corridors of Human Surrogates in Lateral Impacts

Thirty-six lateral PMHS sled tests were performed at 6.7 or 8.9 m/s, under rigid or padded loading conditions and with a variety of impact surface geometries. Forces between the simulated vehicle environment and the thorax, abdomen, and pelvis, as well as torso deflections and various accelerations were measured and scaled to the average male. Mean ± one standard deviation corridors were calculated. PMHS response corridors for force, torso deflection and acceleration were developed. The offset test condition, when partnered with the flat wall condition, forms the basis of a robust battery of tests that can be used to evaluate how an ATD interacts with its environment, and how body regions within the ATD interact with each other.
Technical Paper

Experimental Determination of Adult and Pediatric Neck Scale Factors

The purpose of this study was to determine scale factors for small, mid-size and large adults using a caprine model. In a previous study conducted in our lab, scaling relationships were developed to define cervical spine tolerance values of children using caprine specimens. In that study, tolerances were normalized with respect to an average adult. Because airbag-related injuries are associated with out-of-position children and small adult females, additional experimental data are needed to better estimate human tolerance. In the present study, cervical spine radiographs from the 5th, 50th and 95th percentile human adults were used to determine vertebral body heights for small, mid-size and large anthropometries. Mean human vertebral body heights were computed for each anthropometry and were normalized with respect to mid-size anthropometry.
Technical Paper

Development of Side Impact Thoracic Injury Criteria and Their Application to the Modified ES-2 Dummy with Rib Extensions (ES-2re)

Forty-two side impact cadaver sled tests were conducted at 24 and 32 km/h impact speeds into rigid and padded walls. The post-mortem human subjects were instrumented with accelerometers on the ribs and spine and chest bands around the thorax and abdomen to characterize their mechanical response during the impact. Load cells at the wall measured the impact force at the level of the thorax, abdomen, pelvis, and lower extremities. The resulting injuries were determined through detailed autopsy and radiography. Rib fractures with or without associated hemo/pneumo thorax or flail chest were the most common injury with severity ranging from AIS=0 to 5. Full and half thorax deflections were computed from the chest band data. The cadaver test data was analyzed using ANOVA and logistic regression. The age of the subject at the time of death had influence on injury outcome while gender and mass of the subject had little or no influence on injury outcome.
Technical Paper

Mechanisms and Factors Involved in Hip Injuries During Frontal Crashes

This study was conducted to collect data and gain insights relative to the mechanisms and factors involved in hip injuries during frontal crashes and to study the tolerance of hip injuries from this type of loading. Unembalmed human cadavers were seated on a standard automotive seat (reinforced) and subjected to knee impact test to each lower extremity. Varying combinations of flexion and adduction/abduction were used for initial alignment conditions and pre-positioning. Accelerometers were fixed to the iliac wings and twelfth thoracic vertebral spinous process. A 23.4-kg padded pendulum impacted the knee at velocities ranging from 4.3 to 7.6 m/s. The impacting direction was along the anteroposterior axis, i.e., the global X-axis, in the body-fixed coordinate system. A load cell on the front of the pendulum recorded the impact force. Peak impact forces ranged from 2,450 to 10,950 N. The rate of loading ranged from 123 to 7,664 N/msec. The impulse values ranged from 12.4 to 31.9 Nsec.
Technical Paper

Oblique Loading in Post Mortem Human Surrogates from Vehicle Lateral ImpactTests Using Chestbands

While numerous studies have been conducted to determine side impact responses of Post Mortem Human Surrogates (PMHS) using sled and other equipment, experiments using the biological surrogate in modern full-scale vehicles are not available. The present study investigated the presence of oblique loading in moving deformable barrier and pole tests. Three-point belt restrained PMHS were positioned in the left front and left rear seats in the former and left front seat in the latter condition and tested according to consumer testing protocols. Three chestbands were used in each specimen (upper, middle and lower thorax). Accelerometers were secured to the skull, shoulder, upper, middle and lower thoracic vertebrae, sternum, and sacrum. Chestband signals were processed to determine magnitudes and angulations of peak deflections. The magnitude and timing of various signal peaks are given. Vehicle accelerations, door velocities, and seat belt loads are also given.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Response of Military Booted and Unbooted Foot-Ankle-Tibia from Vertical Loading

A new anthropomorphic test device (ATD) is being developed by the US Army to be responsive to vertical loading during a vehicle underbody blast event. To obtain design parameters for the new ATD, a series of non-injurious tests were conducted to derive biofidelity response corridors for the foot-ankle complex under vertical loading. Isolated post mortem human surrogate (PMHS) lower leg specimens were tested with and without military boot and in different initial foot-ankle positions. Instrumentation included a six-axis load cell at the proximal end, three-axis accelerometers at proximal and distal tibia, and calcaneus, and strain gages. Average proximal tibia axial forces for a neutral-positioned foot were about 2 kN for a 4 m/s test, 4 kN for 6 m/s test and 6 kN for an 8 m/s test. The force time-to-peak values were from 3 to 5 msec and calcaneus acceleration rise times were 2 to 8 msec.
Technical Paper

Responses and Injuries to PMHS in Side-Facing and Oblique Seats in Horizontal Longitudinal Sled Tests per FAA Emergency Landing Conditions

The objective of the present exploratory study is to understand occupant responses in oblique and side-facing seats in the aviation environment, which are increasingly installed in modern aircrafts. Sled tests were conducted using intact Post Mortem Human Surrogates (PMHS) seated in custom seats approximating standard aircraft geometry. End conditions were selected to represent candidate aviation seat and restraint configurations. Three-dimensional head center-of-gravity linear accelerations, head angular velocities, and linear accelerations of the T1, T6, and T12 spinous processes, and sacrum were obtained. Three-dimensional kinematics relative to the seat were obtained from retroreflective targets attached to the head, T1, T6, T12, and sacrum. All specimens sustained spinal injuries, although variations existed by vertebral level.
Technical Paper

Epidemiology and Injury Biomechanics of Motor Vehicle Related Trauma to the Human Spine

Engineering efforts directed at better occupant safety require a thorough understanding of available epidemiologic data. Epidemiologic studies using clinical as well as accident information facilitates the prioritization of biomechanics research so that controlled laboratory experimentation and/or analytical models can be advanced. This information has also value in dictating levels and types of injury that are critical to the development of anthropomorphic test devices used in crash environments. In this paper, motor vehicle accident related (excluding pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists) epidemiologic data were obtained from clinical and computerized accident (National Accident Sampling System-NASS) files. Clinical data were gathered from patients admitted to the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, and fatalities occurring in Milwaukee County, State of Wisconsin. NASS database with specific focus on spinal injuries of motor vehicle occupants was also used.
Technical Paper

Kinematic and Anatomical Analysis of the Human Cervical Spinal Column Under Axial Loading

The patho-anatomic alterations due to vertical loading of the human cervical column were documented and correlated with biomechanical kinematic data. Seven fresh human cadaveric head-neck complexes were prepared, and six-axis load cells were placed at the proximal and distal ends of the specimens to document the gross biomechanical response. Retroreflective markers were placed on bony landmarks of vertebral bodies, articular facets, and spinous processes along the entire cervical column. Targets were also placed on the occiput and arch of C1. The localized movements of these markers were recorded using a video analyzer during the entire loading cycle. Pre-test two-dimensional, and three-dimensional computerized tomography (CT), and plane radiographs were taken. The specimens were loaded to failure using an electrohydraulic testing device at a rate of 2 mm/s.