Modeling the mechanics of axonal fiber tracts using the embedded finite element method

Harsha T. Garimella, Reuben H. Kraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

A subject-specific human head finite element model with embedded axonal fiber tractography obtained from diffusion tensor imaging was developed. The axonal fiber tractography finite element model was coupled with the volumetric elements in the head model using the embedded element method. This technique enables the calculation of axonal strains and real-time tracking of the mechanical response of the axonal fiber tracts. The coupled model was then verified using pressure and relative displacement-based (between skull and brain) experimental studies and was employed to analyze a head impact, demonstrating the applicability of this method in studying axonal injury. Following this, a comparison study of different injury criteria was performed. This model was used to determine the influence of impact direction on the extent of the axonal injury. The results suggested that the lateral impact loading is more dangerous compared to loading in the sagittal plane, a finding in agreement with previous studies. Through this analysis, we demonstrated the viability of the embedded element method as an alternative numerical approach for studying axonal injury in patient-specific human head models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2823
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics

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