Current understanding of blast induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) mechanisms is incomplete and limits the development of protective and therapeutic measures. Animal testing has been used as a surrogate for human testing. The correlation of animals to human responses is not well understood with a limited set of experimental data, because of ethical concerns and cost of live animal tests. The validated computational animal models can be used to supplement and improve the granularity of available data at a significantly reduced cost.
A whole-body porcine high-fidelity computational model was developed based on the image data. The hyper-viscoelastic model was used for soft tissues to capture the rate dependence and large strain nonlinearity of the material. The shock wave interaction with a porcine subject in a shock tube was simulated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models, via a combination of 1-D, 2-D and 3-D numerical techniques. The shock wave loads were applied to the exterior of the porcine finite element (FE) model to simulate the pressure wave transmission through the body and capture its biomechanical response. The CFD and FE problems are solved using the explicit Eulerian and Lagrangian solvers, respectively, in the DoD Open Source code CoBi.
The computational models were validated by comparing the simulation results with experimental data at specific instrumented locations. The predicted brain tissue stress-strain fields were used to determine the areas susceptible to blast induced TBI by using published mechanical injury thresholds. The validated porcine model can be used to better understand TBI and how injury in animals corresponds to injury in humans. The coupled Eurlerian and Lagrangian approaches developed in this paper can be extended to other simulations to improve the solution accuracy.