The importance of nonlinear tissue modelling in finite element simulations of infant head impacts
2016 (English)In: Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, ISSN 1617-7959, E-ISSN 1617-7940Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Despite recent efforts on the development of finite element (FE) head models of infants, a model capable of capturing head responses under various impact scenarios has not been reported. This is hypothesized partially attributed to the use of simplified linear elastic models for soft tissues of suture, scalp and dura. Orthotropic elastic constants are yet to be determined to incorporate the direction-specific material properties of infant cranial bone due to grain fibres radiating from the ossification centres. We report here on our efforts in advancing the above-mentioned aspects in material modelling in infant head and further incorporate them into subject-specific FE head models of a newborn, 5- and 9-month-old infant. Each model is subjected to five impact tests (forehead, occiput, vertex, right and left parietal impacts) and two compression tests. The predicted global head impact responses of the acceleration-time impact curves and the force-deflection compression curves for different age groups agree well with the experimental data reported in the literature. In particular, the newly developed Ogden hyperelastic model for suture, together with the nonlinear modelling of scalp and dura mater, enables the models to achieve more realistic impact performance compared with linear elastic models. The proposed approach for obtaining age-dependent skull bone orthotropic material constants counts both an increase in stiffness and decrease in anisotropy in the skull bone-two essential biological growth parameters during early infancy. The profound deformation of infant head causes a large stretch at the interfaces between the skull bones and the suture, suggesting that infant skull fractures are likely to initiate from the interfaces; the impact angle has a profound influence on global head impact responses and the skull injury metrics for certain impact locations, especially true for a parietal impact.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-308668DOI: 10.1007/s10237-016-0855-5PubMedID: 27873038OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-308668DiVA: diva2:1050559