MRI-based finite element modeling of head trauma: Spherically focusing shear waves

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A powerful tool for investigating the physical process producing head trauma is finite element (FE) modeling. In this paper, we present a 3D FE model of the human head that accounts for important geometric characteristics of the various components within the human head through an efficient magnetic resonance imaging voxel-based mesh generation method. To validate the FE model, a previous cadaver experiment of frontal impact is simulated, and this is where heretofore unknown wave patterns are discovered. The model is run under either of two extreme assumptions concerning the head-neck junction-free or fixed-and the experimental measurements are well bounded by the computed pressures from the two boundary conditions. In both cases the impact gives rise to not only a fast pressure wave but also a slow and spherically convergent shear stress wave which is potentially more damaging to the brain tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-167
Number of pages13
JournalActa Mechanica
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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