Preliminary Numerical Simulations to Investigate the kinematics of Infant Head Impact.
Ghaidaa Khalid  1, *@  , Michael Jones  1@  , Allan Jones  1@  , Shwe Soe  1@  , Peter Theobald  1@  , Raj Prabhu  2@  
1 : Cardiff University
Newport Road, schooll of engineering cardiff CF24 3AA -  United Kingdom
2 : Centre for Advanced Vehicle Systems, Mississippi State University, Mississippi, USA
Mississippi, USA -  Unknown or Invalid Region
* : Corresponding author

Finite element analysis represents a powerful tool that is widely used to investigate structural deformations in traditional engineering environments. This paper focusses on a novel application, as we attempt to quantify the extent of skull and brain deformation – and subsequently predict the extent of injury, during a traumatic event. Traumatic events involving infants are commonly classified as ‘accidental' or ‘non-accidental'. The former includes the dropping of an infant, a common cause of head injury; the latter category includes physical abuse which, whilst mercifully rare, can be very difficult to prove in a Court of Law. This work ultimately aims to develop a validated tool that can be used in predicting the causal mechanism of a presented injury. Given the presence of complex anatomical geometries, viscoelastic solids and non-Newtonian fluids within the human head, achieving this ultimate goal requires the resolution of a series of computational challenges. This paper will report the early stages of this work at Cardiff University, including: the successful development of a geometrically-accurate CAD model of a 10 day old infant head; the process by which a successful FEA mesh has been developed and applied to the skull's natural but complex structure; determination and application of appropriate material properties; data describing head kinematics from a series of preliminary simulations; the process of computational validation. Our use of commercially available software (ABAQUS 6.12, Mimics Innovation Suite 17) ensures that this presentation will be of interest to a wide and diverse audience, who need not necessarily understand the clinical context.

 

 

 


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