Quantifying the Response of Relative Brain/Skull Motion to Rotational Input in the PMHS Head

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Virginia Tech


Post-mortem human surrogate (PMHS) head specimens were subjected to two different angular speed pulses. Each pulse was approximately a half-sine with either a peak angular speed of either 40 or 20 rad/s and duration of either 30 or 60 milliseconds. High-speed biplane x-ray was used to record the motion of the brain and skull via radio-opaque markers implanted at specified locations in the brain, and lead markers on the skull. Specimens were perfused to physiologic conditions throughout preparation and testing to maintain the integrity of the brain tissue and ensure coupling of the brain and skull. Intracranial pressure was measured anteriorly and posteriorly. The test event was controlled by a cam-follower-flywheel mechanism, which facilitated control of pulse parameters and provided a form of "infinite energy" so that the device and therefore the test input would not be influenced by the characteristics of the object under test. This approach kept the independent and dependent variables separated. The brain targets were also deployed in a prescribed manner with two methodologies that were scalable to different specimens. The repeatable input and target deployment schemes helped reduce experimental variation (between tests and subjects) to produce consistent response data. Displacement of the brain was calculated with respect to a body-fixed basis on the skull. The relative motion of the brain with respect to the skull was shown to be dependent on the location of the target in the brain. The major deformation axis of each target followed the contour of the skull or bony landmark to which it was closest. Intracranial pressure was relatively low because the changes were due to inertial effects in the absence of impact. Tests with lower speeds and longer durations produced less deformation, lower intracranial pressures, and longer pressure durations than the tests that were high-speed, short-duration. The response of the brain to rotation of the head was quantified at two test levels and on two PMHS specimens.



Traumatic Brain Injury, Biomechanics, Cadaver