Awarded New Investigator/Doctoral Dissertation Grant

Patient-Specific Modeling for Pediatric Head Injury-Biomechanics

FOA Number: CE03-027 – New Investigator Training Awards for Injury Research
Project Period: 9/1/2003 – 8/31/2005
Application/Grant Number: 1 R49 CE523137-01
Principal Investigator: Jiangyue Zhang, PhD
Medical College of Wisconsin,
Milwaukee, WI


Head injury in pediatric patients is a serious problem and poorly understood from a biomechanical perspective. These injuries are intrinsically linked to geometry and material properties of the brain and skull. This project will use patient-specific finite element models (FEMs), reconstructed from patient computer tomography (CT) scans, to study impact response and injury mechanisms in pediatric patients.

The tissue level head injury criteria will be identified by comparing results from patient-specific FEMs to brain injuries in actual patients as found on CT scans. Parametric studies will also be performed to study the effects of head geometry and site of impact on impact response and injury mechanisms. The long-term objective of this project is to use a patient-specific FEM to investigate the brain injury of a specific pediatric patient at all ages. A family of patient-specific FEMs will be built for a pediatric population as a function of age. Patient-specific head injury studies will not only help clinicians understand how injuries occur in specific patients, but also help in the evaluation and development of safety protection devices for this population. As a short-term (one-year) goal, ten patients (ages five to seven months) will be selected and patient-specific FEMs will be reconstructed from patient CT scans by using MIMICS software and I-DEAS. Each model will be exercised under the known impact scenario obtained from the clinical history of the patient. The tissue level head injury criteria are obtained by comparing results from FEMs to brain injuries found in CT scans. The models will then be applied with the same traumatic loading to study injury differences because of geometry between these models. The difference in brain injury due to site of impact will also be studied by applying the load at different anatomic sites.