The mechanical and morphological properties of 6 year-old cranial bone.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity for children in the United States. The unavailability of pediatric cadavers makes it difficult to study and characterize the mechanical behavior of the pediatric skull. Computer based finite element modeling could provide valuable insights, but the utility of these models depends upon the accuracy of cranial material property inputs. In this study, 47 samples from one six year-old human cranium were tested to failure via four point bending to study the effects of strain rate and the structure of skull bone on modulus of elasticity and failure properties for both cranial bone and suture. The results show that strain rate does not have a statistically meaningful effect on the mechanical properties of the six year-old skull over the range of strain rates studied (average low rate of 0.045 s(-1), average medium rate of 0.44 s(-1), and an average high rate of 2.2 s(-1)), but that these properties do depend on the growth patterns and morphology of the skull. The thickness of the bone was found to vary with structure. The bending stiffness (per unit width) for tri-layer bone (12.32±5.18 Nm(2)/m) was significantly higher than that of cortical bone and sutures (5.58±1.46 Nm(2)/m and 3.70±1.88 Nm(2)/m respectively). The modulus of elasticity was 9.87±1.24 GPa for cranial cortical bone and 1.10±0.53 GPa for sutures. The effective elastic modulus of tri-layer bone was 3.69±0.92 GPa. Accurate models of the pediatric skull should account for the differences amongst these three distinct tissues in the six year-old skull.
Davis, MT; Loyd, AM; Shen, H-YH; Mulroy, MH; Nightingale, RW; Myers, BS; Bass, CD
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