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Development and Validation of Age-Dependent FE Human Models of a Mid-Sized Male Thorax
Published November 03, 2010 by The Stapp Association in United States
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The increasing number of people over 65 years old (YO) is an important research topic in the area of impact biomechanics, and finite element (FE) modeling can provide valuable support for related research. There were three objectives of this study: (1) Estimation of the representative age of the previously documented Ford Human Body Model (FHBM)~an FE model which approximates the geometry and mass of a mid-sized male, (2) Development of FE models representing two additional ages, and (3) Validation of the resulting three models to the extent possible with respect to available physical tests. Specifically, the geometry of the model was compared to published data relating rib angles to age, and the mechanical properties of different simulated tissues were compared to a number of published aging functions. The FHBM was determined to represent a 53-59 YO mid-sized male. The aforementioned aging functions were used to develop FE models representing two additional ages: 35 and 75 YO. The rib model was validated against human rib specimens and whole rib tests, under different loading conditions, with and without modeled fracture. In addition, the resulting three age-dependent models were validated by simulating cadaveric tests of blunt and sled impacts. The responses of the models, in general, were within the cadaveric response corridors. When compared to peak responses from individual cadavers similar in size and age to the age-dependent models, some responses were within one standard deviation of the test data. All the other responses, but one, were within two standard deviations.