Computing Brain White and Grey Matter Injury Severity in a Traumatic Fall

Christophe Bastien, Clive Neal Sturgess, Huw Davies, Xiang Cheng

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In the real world, the severity of traumatic injuries is measured using the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS). However, the AIS scale cannot currently be computed by using the output from finite element human computer models, which currently rely on maximum principal strains (MPS) to capture serious and fatal injuries. In order to overcome these limitations, a unique Organ Trauma Model (OTM) able to calculate the threat to the life of a brain model at all AIS levels is introduced. The OTM uses a power method, named Peak Virtual Power (PVP), and defines brain white and grey matter trauma responses as a function of impact location and impact speed. This research has considered ageing in the injury severity computation by including soft tissue material degradation, as well as brain volume changes due to ageing. Further, to account for the limitations of the Lagrangian formulation of the brain model in representing hemorrhage, an approach to include the effects of subdural hematoma is proposed and included as part of the predictions. The OTM model was tested against two real-life falls and has proven to correctly predict the post-mortem outcomes. This paper is a proof of concept, and pending more testing, could support forensic studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
JournalMathematical and Computational Applications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Modelling and Simulation Applied to Head Trauma


  • Brain trauma modelling
  • Fall
  • Organ trauma model
  • Peak virtual power
  • Trauma modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics

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