Simulation of the development of frontal head impact injury
21 September 2000
06T08:56:13Z November 2013
This paper describes the results of computational simulations of a frontal impact to the head and the predicted development of coup and contrecoup contusion (i.e., at and opposite the site of impact, respectively) within brain tissue. Three separate two-dimensional plane strain finite element models of the head, each of which incorporated the skull, the cerebrospinal fluid and the brain, were constructed. Two of these models represented the coronal plane of the head as being elliptic whilst the third model was geometrically representative of an actual human head. This third model was taken in an off-centre mid-sagittal plane in an anterior–posterior direction and all three models were used to investigate the dynamic response of the human head when subject to direct translational impact events. The physiological consequences of modelling the human brain as being elastic were established. Compressive and tensile strains were predicted at the coup and contrecoup sites for a simulated frontal impact event by means of a simple elastic analysis. These distributions of most severe strain correspond directly to the occurrence of coup and contrecoup contusion such as are witnessed in clinical studies which arise under the action of translational acceleration.
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