Surrogate Head Forms for the Evaluation of Head Injury Risk

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Brain Injuries and Biomechanics Symposium

This paper summarizes the use of surrogate head forms in biomechanical research pertaining to head injury and, more specifically, mild traumatic brain injury. Because cadavers are limited and controlled studies of brain injury using live human subjects would be unethical, surrogate head forms are used to study the response of the human head to impact. Different head forms have been developed and optimized for different purposes. The Hybrid III 50th percentile male crash test dummy was developed for use in vehicle crash testing and instrumented in such a way as to provide HIC values in frontal crash tests. The NOCSAE head form is used by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment to be used in the certification of commercially produced athletic helmets. The Facial and Ocular Countermeasure Safety (FOCUS) head form was developed jointly by the Virgina Tech-Wake Forest Center for Injury Biomechanics, Robert A. Denton, Inc., and the United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory as a tool to aid in the development and evaluation of safety devices designed to prevent face and eye injuries. The vast majority of biomechanical research of head injury conducted using surrogate anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) utilized one of these three head forms.

Mild traumatic brain injury, head, head form, brain injury
MacAlister A, "Surrogate Head Forms for the Evaluation of Head Injury Risk," Brain Injuries and Biomechanics Symposium, Washington DC, April 3, 2013.