The influence of neck kinematics on brain pressures and strains under blast loading

J. C. Roberts, T. P. Harrigan, E. E. Ward, D. Nicolella, L. Francis, T. Eliason, A. C. Merkle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Strains and pressures in the brain are known to be influenced by rotation of the head in response to loading. This brain rotation is governed by the motion of the head, as permitted by the neck, due to loading conditions. In order to better understand the effect neck characteristics have on pressures and strains in the brain, a human head finite element model (HHFEM) was attached to two neck FEMs: a standard, well characterized Hybrid III Anthropometric Test Device neck FEM; and a high fidelity parametric probabilistic human FEM neck that has been hierarchically validated. The Hybrid III neck is well-established in automotive injury prevention studies, but is known to be much stiffer than in vivo human necks. The parametric FEM is based on CT scans and anatomic data, and the components of the model are validated against biomechanical tests at the component and system level. Both integrated head-neck models were loaded using pressure histories based on shock tube exposures. The shock tube loading applied to these head models were obtained using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of the HHFEM surface in front of a 6 inch diameter shock tube. The calculated pressure-time histories were then applied to the head-neck models. The global head rotations, pressures, brain displacements, and brain strains of both head-neck models were compared for shock tube driver pressures from 517 to 862 kPa. The intracranial pressure response occurred in the first 1 to 5 msec, after blast impact, prior to a significant kinematic response, and was very similar between the two models. The global head rotations and the strains in the brain occurred at 20 to 100 msec after blast impact, and both were approximately two times higher in the model using the head parametric probabilistic neck FEM (H2PN), as compared to the model using the head Hybrid III neck FEM (H3N). It was also discovered that the H2PN exhibited an initial backward and small downward motion in the first 10 ms not seen in the H3N. The increased displacements and strains were the primary difference between the two combined models, indicating that neck constraints are a significant factor in the strains induced by blast loading to the head. Therefore neck constraints should be carefully controlled in studies of brain strain due to blast, but neck constraints are less important if pressure response is the only response parameter of primary interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiomedical and Biotechnology Engineering
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Print)9780791856215
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
EventASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2013 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Nov 15 2013Nov 21 2013

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)
Volume3 A

Conference

ConferenceASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2013
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period11/15/1311/21/13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Roberts, J. C., Harrigan, T. P., Ward, E. E., Nicolella, D., Francis, L., Eliason, T., & Merkle, A. C. (2013). The influence of neck kinematics on brain pressures and strains under blast loading. In Biomedical and Biotechnology Engineering (ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE); Vol. 3 A). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). https://doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2013-64821