Biofidelity Corridors for Sternum Kinematics in Low-Speed Side Impacts
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
Objective: Field data show that side impact car crashes have become responsible for a greater proportion of the fatal crashes compared to frontal crashes, which suggests that the protection gained in frontal impact has not been matched in side impact. One of the reasons is the lack of understanding of the torso injury mechanisms in side impact. In particular, the deformation of the rib cage and how it affects the mechanical loading of the individual ribs have yet to be established. Therefore, the objective of this study was to characterize the ribcage deformation in side impacts by describing the kinematics of the sternum relative to the spine. Methods: The 3D kinematics of the 1st and of the 5th or 6th thoracic vertebrae and of the sternum were obtained for three Post Mortem Human Subjects (PMHS) impacted laterally by a rigid wall traveling at 15 km/h. The experimental data were processed to express the kinematics of the sternum relative to the spine throughout the impact event. Methods were developed to interpolate the kinematics of the vertebrae for which experimental data were not available. Results: The kinematics of the sternocostal junction for ribs 1 to 6 as well as the orientation of the sternum were expressed in the vertebra coordinate systems deﬁned for each upper thoracic vertebra (T1 to T6). Corridors were designed for the motion of the sternum relative to each vertebra. In the experiments, the sternum moved upward for all rib levels (1 to 6), and away from the spine with an amplitude that increased with the decreasing rib level (from rib 1 to rib 6). None of the differences observed in the kinematics could be correlated to the occurrence of rib fractures. Conclusions: This study provides both qualitative and quantitative information for the ribcage skeletal kinematics in side impact. This data set provides the information required to better evaluate computational models of the thorax for side impact simulations. The corridors developed in this study provide new bioﬁdelity targets for the impact response of the ribcage. This study contributes to augmenting the state of knowledge of the human chest deformation in side impact to better characterize the rib fracture mechanisms.
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