Responses of the human cervical spine to torsion
The passive torsional responses of the human cervical spine were investigated using unembalmed cervical spines in a dynamic test environment. Kinematic constraints were designed to simulate in vivo conditions. A physiologic axis of twist was determined based on a minimum energy hypothesis. Six-axis load cells completely described the resultant forces. Results include viscoelastic responses, moment-angle curves, and piece-wise linear stiffness. The Hybrid III ATD neckform was also tested, and its responses compared with the human. The Hybrid III neckform was stiffer than the human, was more rate sensitive than the human, and unlike the human, was relatively insensitive to the axis of twist. A rotational element to improve the biofidelity of the Hybrid III neckform in rotation was developed, and the results presented. In addition, this data was compared with volunteer sled tests to determine the contributions of the cervical musculature to the stabilization of the neck in rotation during lateral acceleration.
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