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Regional brain strain dependance on direction of head rotation Accident Analysis and Prevention Accident Analysis and Prevention Volume 193December 2023




Brain injuries in automated vehicles during crash events are likely to include mechanisms of head impact in non-standard positions and postures (i.e., occupants not facing forward in an upright position). Federal regulations currently focus on impact conditions in primary planes of motion, such as frontal or rear impacts (sagittal plane of motion) or side impact (coronal plane of motion) and do not account for out of position occupants or non-standard postures. The objective of the present study was to develop and use the anatomically accurate brain finite element model to parametrically determine the injury metrics under different vectors with head rotation. A custom developed brain finite element model with anatomical accuracy and several anatomical regions defined was used to evaluate whole-brain strain as well as regional brain strain. Cumulative Strain Damage Measure (CSDM) at a threshold of 20% strain and the 95th percentile of the maximum principal strain (MPS95) were calculated for the whole brain and each brain region under multiple rotational directions. The model was exposed to a sinusoidal angular acceleration pulse of 5000 rad per second squared (rad/s2–) over 12.5 ms. The same pulse was used in the primary axes of motion and (lateral bending, flexion, extension, axial rotation) and combined axes representing oblique flexion and oblique extension. Whole brain CSDM20 was highest for lateral bending. Whole brain MPS95 was highest for axial rotation. The rCSDM20 was more susceptible to impact direction, with several brain regions having substantial accumulation of strain for oblique flexion and lateral bending. Comparatively, rMPS95 was more consistent across all rotation directions. The present study quantified the regional brain strain response under multiple rotational vectors identifying a high amount of variability in the accumulation of strain (i.e., CSDM20) in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, and midbrain specifically. While there was a high amount of variability in the accumulation of strain for multiple regions, the maximum strain measured (i.e., MPS95) in the regions was more consistent.

Author List

Rooks T., Baisden, J., Yoganandan, N.


Narayan Yoganandan PhD Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

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