Linking head kinematics to injury risk has been the focus of numerous brain injury criteria. Although many early forms were developed using mechanics principles, recent criteria have been developed using empirical methods based on subsets of head impact data. In this study, a single-degree-of-freedom (sDOF) mechanical analog was developed to parametrically investigate the link between rotational head kinematics and brain deformation. Model efficacy was assessed by comparing the maximum magnitude of displacement to strain-based brain injury predictors from finite element (FE) human head models. A series of idealized rotational pulses covering a broad range of acceleration and velocity magnitudes (0.1–15 krad/s2 and 1–100 rad/s) with durations between 1 and 3000 ms were applied to the mechanical models about each axis of the head. Results show that brain deformation magnitude is governed by three categories of rotational head motion each distinguished by the duration of the pulse relative to the brain's natural period: for short-duration pulses, maximum brain deformation depended primarily on angular velocity magnitude; for long-duration pulses, brain deformation depended primarily on angular acceleration magnitude; and for pulses relatively close to the natural period, brain deformation depended on both velocity and acceleration magnitudes. These results suggest that brain deformation mechanics can be adequately explained by simple mechanical systems, since FE model responses and experimental brain injury tolerances exhibited similar patterns to the sDOF model. Finally, the sDOF model was the best correlate to strain-based responses and highlighted fundamental limitations with existing rotational-based brain injury metrics.
Development of a Single-Degree-of-Freedom Mechanical Model for Predicting Strain-Based Brain Injury Responses
Manuscript received January 30, 2017; final manuscript received October 23, 2017; published online January 17, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Barclay Morrison.
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Gabler, L. F., Joodaki, H., Crandall, J. R., and Panzer, M. B. (January 17, 2018). "Development of a Single-Degree-of-Freedom Mechanical Model for Predicting Strain-Based Brain Injury Responses." ASME. J Biomech Eng. March 2018; 140(3): 031002. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4038357
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