Date of this Version
Published in Biomedical Engineering Letters (2017); doi: 10.1007/s13534-017-0027-2
There is controversy regarding the directional dependence of head responses subjected to blast loading. The goal of this work is to characterize the role of head orientation in the mechanics of blast wave-head interactions as well as the load transmitting to the brain. A three-dimensional human head model with anatomical details was reconstructed from computed tomography images. Three different head orientations with respect to the oncoming blast wave, i.e., front-on with head facing blast, back-on with head facing away from blast, and side-on with right side exposed to blast, were considered. The reflected pressure at the blast wave-head interface positively correlated with the skull curvature. It is evidenced by the maximum reflected pressure occurring at the eye socket with the largest curvature on the skull. The reflected pressure pattern along with the local skull areas could further influence the intracranial pressure distributions within the brain. We did find out that the maximum coup pressure of 1.031 MPa in the side-on case as well as the maximum contrecoup pressure of –0.124 MPa in the back-on case. Moreover, the maximum principal strain (MPS) was also monitored due to its indication to diffuse brain injury. It was observed that the peak MPS located in the frontal cortex region regardless of the head orientation. However, the local peak MPS within each individual function region of the brain depended on the head orientation. The detailed interactions between blast wave and head orientations provided insights for evaluating the brain dynamics, as well as biomechanical factors leading to traumatic brain injury.