A critique of the THUMS lower limb model for pedestrian impact applications

Thomas Cloake, Christophe Bastien, Joseph Hardwicke, Demetrios T Venetsanos, Clive Neal Sturgess

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The Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) is widely used for biomechanics research and validated at the component and full-body levels. Nonetheless, some authors have reported differences in predictions between the model and real-life injuries, particularly in the lower limbs. This study aims to perform an extensive critique of the THUMS lower limb and identify areas for improvement. The THUMS model was assessed across quasi-static and dynamic validation tests to understand geometry, material properties and response to impact. The study has highlighted that the THUMS’ geometry is comparable to published cadaveric data for bones and ligaments, but soft tissues (muscle, adipose and skin) and fascia have significant simplifications. The bones’ material properties are evidence-based and vary appropriately according to anatomical site. Bone failure is permitted through element deletion; however, the unusually transverse fracture pattern predicted in THUMS is seldom seen in clinical practice. The simplified soft tissue model cannot fail, making it unable to replicate the extensive damage seen in high energy open fractures. Ligament injury is a frequent result of an impact to the pedestrian lower limb, often at the bone-tendon interface, yet the failure location seen in the THUMS model is mid-substance. In summary, THUMS makes an excellent attempt to model the lower limb; nonetheless, some work is still required to increase biofidelity. Improvements in soft tissue geometry and material properties and fracture pattern modelling represent apparent areas for development.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 29 Sept 2021
Event13th European LS-DYNA Conference 2021 - Ulm, Germany
Duration: 5 Oct 20217 Oct 2021


Conference13th European LS-DYNA Conference 2021
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