Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
  • Publication
    Experimental Characterisation of Neural Tissue at Collision Speeds
    (International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury, 2012) ; ;
    Mechanical characterization of brain tissue at high loading velocities is particularly important for modelling Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). During severe impact conditions, brain tissue experiences a mixture of compression, tension and shear. Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) occurs in animals and humans when both the strains and strain rates exceed 10% and 10/s, respectively. Knowing the mechanical properties of brain tissue at these strains and strain rates is of particular importance, as they can be used in finite element simulations to predict the occurrence of brain injuries under different impact conditions. In this research, we describe the design and operation of a High Rate Tension Device (HRTD) that has been used for tensile tests on freshly harvested specimens of porcine neural tissue at speeds corresponding to a maximum strain rate of 90/s. We investigate the effects of inhomogeneous deformation of the tissue during tension by quasi‐static tests (strain rate 0.01/s) and dynamic tests (strain rate 90/s) using different thickness specimens (4.0, 7.0, 10.0 and 13.0 mm) of the same diameter (15.0 mm). Based on a combined experimental and computational analysis, brain specimens of aspect ratio (diameter/thickness) S = 10/10 or lower (10/12, 10/13) are considered suitable for minimizing the effects of inhomogeneous deformation during tension tests. The Ogden material parameters were derived from the experimental data both at quasi‐static conditions (µ = 440 Pa and α = ‐4.8 at 0.01/s strain rate) and dynamic conditions (µ = 4238 Pa and α = 2.8 at 90/s strain rate) by performing an inverse finite element analysis to model all experimental data. These material parameters will prove useful for the nonlinear hyperelastic analysis of brain tissue.
  • Publication
    Linear Viscoelastic Properties of Cerbral Cortex at Thresholds for Axonal Damage
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by rapid deformation of the brain that leads to shearing of axons. While deformation below the limits of ultimate failure can activate pathophysiological cascades that cause neurodegeneration [1], bleeding does not always occur even after tearing of axons. Traditional imaging studies such as CT and MRI are designed to detect areas of bleeding but these can fail to detect the presence of multiple, widespread, microscopic axonal injuries that can result in devastating neurological deficits. A large knowledge gap still exists defining the relationship between axonal injury at a microscopic level (morphological injury) and the material properties of the corpus callosum, hippocampus and cerebral cortex on the macroscopic level, but at identical strain levels. This research investigates the linear viscoelastic properties of the cerebral cortex at known thresholds of axonal injury (0.14 - 0.34 strains [2]). During quasi static loading of tissue in creep tests, instantaneous strains were generated corresponding to axonal thresholds. A linear viscoelastic constitutive model was used to determine six Prony parameters suitable for finite element simulation in ABAQUS and ANSYS. Use of such properties at the levels of axonal damage will help to accurately predict injuries during numerical simulations, to design safety helmets and air bags, and also to refine existing injury criteria and to improve the precision in surgical procedures.
  • Publication
    Automated Estimation of Collagen Fibre Dispersion in the Dermis and its Contribution to the Anisotropic Behaviour of Skin
    Collagen fibres play an important role in the mechanical behaviour of many soft tissues. Modelling of such tissues now often incorporates a collagen fibre distribution. However, the availability of accurate structural data has so far lagged behind the progress of anisotropic constitutive modelling. Here, an automated process is developed to identify the orientation of collagen fibres using inexpensive and relatively simple techniques. The method uses established histological techniques and an algorithm implemented in the MATLAB image processing toolbox. It takes an average of 15 s to evaluate one image, compared to several hours if assessed visually. The technique was applied to histological sections of human skin with different Langer line orientations and a definite correlation between the orientation of Langer lines and the preferred orientation of collagen fibres in the dermis (p<0.001,R2=0.95) was observed. The structural parameters of the Gasser–Ogden–Holzapfel (GOH) model were all successfully evaluated. The mean dispersion factor for the dermis was κ=0.1404±0.0028. The constitutive parameters μ, k 1 and k 2 were evaluated through physically-based, least squares curve-fitting of experimental test data. The values found for μ, k 1 and k 2 were 0.2014 MPa, 243.6 and 0.1327, respectively. Finally, the above model was implemented in ABAQUS/Standard and a finite element (FE) computation was performed of uniaxial extension tests on human skin. It is expected that the results of this study will assist those wishing to model skin, and that the algorithm described will be of benefit to those who wish to evaluate the collagen dispersion of other soft tissues.
      320Scopus© Citations 143
  • Publication
    Deficiencies in numerical models of anisotropic nonlinearly elastic materials
    Incompressible nonlinearly hyperelastic materials are rarely simulated in finite element numerical experiments as being perfectly incompressible because of the numerical difficulties associated with globally satisfying this constraint. Most commercial finite element packages therefore assume that the material is slightly compressible. It is then further assumed that the corresponding strain-energy function can be decomposed additively into volumetric and deviatoric parts. We show that this decomposition is not physically realistic, especially for anisotropic materials, which are of particular interest for simulating the mechanical response of biological soft tissue. The most striking illustration of the shortcoming is that with this decomposition, an anisotropic cube under hydrostatic tension deforms into another cube instead of a hexahedron with non-parallel faces. Furthermore, commercial numerical codes require the specification of a 'compressibility parameter' (or 'penalty factor'), which arises naturally from the flawed additive decomposition of the strain-energy function. This parameter is often linked to a 'bulk modulus', although this notion makes no sense for anisotropic solids; we show that it is essentially an arbitrary parameter and that infinitesimal changes to it result in significant changes in the predicted stress response. This is illustrated with numerical simulations for biaxial tension experiments of arteries, where the magnitude of the stress response is found to change by several orders of magnitude when infinitesimal changes in 'Poisson’s ratio' close to the perfect incompressibility limit of 1/2 are made.
      575Scopus© Citations 35
  • Publication
    Influence of preservation temperature on the measured mechanical properties of brain tissue
    The large variability in experimentally measured mechanical properties of brain tissue is due to many factors including heterogeneity, anisotropy, age dependence and post-mortem time. Moreover, differences in test protocols also influence these measured properties. This paper shows that the temperature at which porcine brain tissue is stored or preserved prior to testing has a significant effect on the mechanical properties of brain tissue, even when tests are conducted at the same temperatures. Three groups of brain tissue were stored separately for at least 1 h at three different preservation temperatures, i.e., ice cold, room temperature (22 °C) and body temperature (37 °C), prior to them all being tested at room temperature (∼22 °C). Significant differences in the corresponding initial elastic shear modulus μ (Pa) (at various amounts of shear, 0≤K≤1.0) were observed. The initial elastic moduli were 1043±271 Pa, 714±210 Pa and 497±156 Pa (mean±SD) at preservation temperatures of ice cold, 22 °C and 37 °C, respectively. Based on this investigation, it is strongly recommended that brain tissue samples must be preserved at an ice-cold temperature prior to testing in order to minimize the difference between the measured in vitro test results and the in vivo properties. A by-product of the study is that simple shear tests allow for large, almost perfectly homogeneous deformation of brain matter.
      674Scopus© Citations 31
  • Publication
    Determination of friction coefficient in unconfined compression of brain tissue
    Unconfined compression tests are more convenient to perform on cylindrical samples of brain tissue than tensile tests in order to estimate mechanical properties of the brain tissue because they allow homogeneous deformations. The reliability of these tests depends significantly on the amount of friction generated at the specimen/platen interface. Thus, there is a crucial need to find an approximate value of the friction coefficient in order to predict a possible overestimation of stresses during unconfined compression tests. In this study, a combined experimental–computational approach was adopted to estimate the dynamic friction coefficient μ of porcine brain matter against metal platens in compressive tests. Cylindrical samples of porcine brain tissue were tested up to 30% strain at variable strain rates, both under bonded and lubricated conditions in the same controlled environment. It was established that μ was equal to 0.09±0.03, 0.18±0.04, 0.18±0.04 and 0.20±0.02 at strain rates of 1, 30, 60 and 90/s, respectively. Additional tests were also performed to analyze brain tissue under lubricated and bonded conditions, with and without initial contact of the top platen with the brain tissue, with different specimen aspect ratios and with different lubricants (Phosphate Buffer Saline (PBS), Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and Silicone). The test conditions (lubricant used, biological tissue, loading velocity) adopted in this study were similar to the studies conducted by other research groups. This study will help to understand the amount of friction generated during unconfined compression of brain tissue for strain rates of up to 90/s.
      332Scopus© Citations 26
  • Publication
    Mechanical characterization of brain tissue in simple shear at dynamic strain rates
    During severe impact conditions, brain tissue experiences a rapid and complex deformation, which can be seen as a mixture of compression, tension and shear. Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) occurs in animals and humans when both the strains and strain rates exceed 10% and 10/s, respectively. Knowing the mechanical properties of brain tissue in shear at these strains and strain rates is thus of particular importance, as they can be used in finite element simulations to predict the occurrence of brain injuries under different impact conditions. However, very few studies in the literature provide this information. In this research, an experimental setup was developed to perform simple shear tests on porcine brain tissue at strain rates ≤120/s. The maximum measured shear stress at strain rates of 30, 60, 90 and 120/s was 1.15±0.25 kPa, 1.34±0.19 kPa, 2.19±0.225 kPa and 2.52±0.27 kPa, (mean±SD), respectively at the maximum amount of shear, K =1. Good agreement of experimental, theoretical (Ogden and Mooney–Rivlin mod)and numerical shear stresses was achieved (p =0.7866–0.9935). Specimen thickness effects (2.0–10.0 mm thick specimens) were also analyzed numerically and we found that there is no significant difference (p =0.9954) in the shear stress magnitudes, indicating a homogeneous deformation of the specimens during simple shear tests. Stress relaxation tests in simple shear were also conducted at different strain magnitudes (10–60% strain) with the average rise time of 14 ms. This allowed us to estimate elastic and viscoelastic parameters (initial shear modulus, μ=4942.0 Pa, and Prony parameters: g1=0.520, g2=0.3057, τ1=0.0264 s, and τ2=0.011 s) that can be used in FE software to analyze the non-linear viscoelastic behavior of brain tissue. This study provides new insight into the behavior in finite shear of brain tissue under dynamic impact conditions, which will assist in developing effective brain injury criteria and adopting efficient countermeasures against traumatic brain injury.
      1006Scopus© Citations 140
  • Publication
    Third- and fourth-order constants of incompressible soft solids and the acousto-elastic effect
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2010) ; ;
    Acousto-elasticity is concerned with the propagation of small-amplitude waves in deformed solids. Results previously established for the incremental elastodynamics of exact non-linear elasticity are useful for the determination of third- and fourth-order elastic constants, especially in the case of incompressible isotropic soft solids, where the expressions are particularly simple. Specifically, it is simply a matter of expanding the expression for ρv2, where ρ is the mass density and v the wave speed, in terms of the elongation e of a block subject to a uniaxial tension. The analysis shows that in the resulting expression: ρv2=a+be+ce2, say, a depends linearly on μ; b on μ and A; and c on μ, A, and D, the respective second-, third, and fourth-order constants of incompressible elasticity, for bulk shear waves and for surface waves.
      403Scopus© Citations 52
  • Publication
    Mechanical characterization of brain tissue in compression at dynamic strain rates
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when local mechanical load exceeds certain tolerance levels for brain tissue. Extensive research has been done previously for brain matter experiencing compression at quasistatic loading; however, limited data is available to model TBI under dynamic impact conditions. In this research, an experimental setup was developed to perform unconfined compression tests and stress relaxation tests at strain rates ≤90/s. The brain tissue showed a stiffer response with increasing strain rates, showing that hyperelastic models are not adequate. Specifically, the compressive nominal stress at 30% strain was 8.83 ± 1.94, 12.8 ± 3.10 and 16.0 ± 1.41 kPa (mean ± SD) at strain rates of 30, 60 and 90/s, respectively. Relaxation tests were also conducted at 10%–50% strain with the average rise time of 10 ms, which can be used to derive time dependent parameters. Numerical simulations were performed using one-term Ogden model with initial shear modulus μo=6.06±1.44, 9.44 ± 2.427 and 12.64 ± 1.227 kPa (mean ± SD) at strain rates of 30, 60 and 90/s, respectively. A separate set of bonded and lubricated tests were also performed under the same test conditions to estimate the friction coefficient μ, by adopting combined experimental–computational approach. The values of μ were 0.1 ± 0.03 and 0.15 ± 0.07 (mean ± SD) at 30 and 90/s strain rates, respectively, indicating that pure slip conditions cannot be achieved in unconfined compression tests even under fully lubricated test conditions. The material parameters obtained in this study will help to develop biofidelic human brain finite element models, which can subsequently be used to predict brain injuries under impact conditions.
      559Scopus© Citations 189
  • Publication
    Mechanical characterization of brain tissue in tension at dynamic strain rates
    Mechanical characterization of brain tissue at high loading velocities is crucial for modeling Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). During severe impact conditions, brain tissue experiences compression, tension and shear. Limited experimental data is available for brain
      568Scopus© Citations 160