3 years ago

Micromechanical Analysis of Brain’s Diffuse Axonal Injury

Computational models are important tools which help researchers understand traumatic brain injury. A mechanistic multi-scale numerical approach is introduced to quantify diffuse axonal injury (DAI), the most important mechanism of TBI, induced by a mechanical insult at micro-scale regions of the white matter or voxels where fiber orientations are the same. Using the mechanical properties of a single axon with a viscoelastic constitutive relation and its functional failure in terms of electrophysiological impairment, a numerical 2D micro-level lattice method is implemented to directly analyze the percentage of injured axons in a voxel containing a bundle of axons all with the same orientation under biaxial stretches. Reference micro-injury maps are then developed with the input parameters based on the principal strain or stretch values and their direction with respect to axons, which provide the percentage of injured axons in the voxel of interest as the output. The methodology is independent of any statistical analyses of the accident data and medical reports to derive probabilistic injury risk curves for DAI. Avoiding a structurally detailed full finite element head model, this study proposes a micro-mechanical approach which considers the anatomical structure of neural axons in the white matter together with their mechanical properties using a numerical lattice method to analyze the brain’s diffuse axonal injury. This work has the potential to help develop safer prevention tools and more effective diagnosis methods for DAI.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S002192901730502X

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