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Computational Mechanics of Traumatic Brain Injury under Impact Loads

Hesam S. Moghaddam 1, Asghar Rezaei 2, Mariusz Ziejewski 3, and Ghodrat Karami 3
1. Northern Arizona University, Mechanical Engineering Department, Flagstaff, AZ, USA
2. Mayo Clinic, Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering, Rochester, MN
3. North Dakota State University, Mechanical Engineering Department, Fargo, ND, USA

Abstract—A finite element (FE) study was performed to investigate the dynamic response of the brain under impact loading using computational mechanics to better understand the mechanisms of impact induced traumatic brain injury (iTBI). North Dakota State University Finite Element Head Model (NDSUFEHM) was used to investigate the pressure and stress responses of the brain under different impact conditions. The impacts were carried out at a 45º-tilted orientation using two different impact velocity, 10 m/s and 13 m/s, which resulted in a total of two different impact scenarios. LS-Dyna nonlinear FE solver and LS-PrePost were employed to perform all simulations, record data and visualize results. Specifically, the intracranial pressure (ICP), maximum shear stress (MSS), were recorded and analyzed for two different impact velocities. These biomechanical responses were recorded at different locations on and inside the brain to starting from the impact site (coup) to the opposite site (countercoup). This was done to analyze the variations of ICP and MSS through the brain in order to understand the role of these parameters in injury mechanisms. The impact severity was shown to have more effect on the level of pressure response while its effect on peak MSS was not much. ICP variation was linear between coup and countercoup sites. It was observed that unlike pressure, shear stress traveled slower through the brain tissue. Our findings suggested that using only one biomechanical parameter can’t justify the fidelity of the FE head models. 

Index Terms—computational mechanics, traumatic brain injury, shear stress, intracranial pressure, finite element analysis

Cite: Hesam S. Moghaddam, Asghar Rezaei, Mariusz Ziejewski, and Ghodrat Karami, "Computational Mechanics of Traumatic Brain Injury under Impact Loads" International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Vol. 8, No. 6, pp. 921-928, November 2019. DOI: 10.18178/ijmerr.8.6.921-928