Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 1201–1214 | Cite as

Development and validation of an atlas-based finite element brain model

  • Logan E. Miller
  • Jillian E. Urban
  • Joel D. Stitzel
Original Paper


Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of disability and injury-related death. To enhance our ability to prevent such injuries, brain response can be studied using validated finite element (FE) models. In the current study, a high-resolution, anatomically accurate FE model was developed from the International Consortium for Brain Mapping brain atlas. Due to wide variation in published brain material parameters, optimal brain properties were identified using a technique called Latin hypercube sampling, which optimized material properties against three experimental cadaver tests to achieve ideal biomechanics. Additionally, falx pretension and thickness were varied in a lateral impact variation. The atlas-based brain model (ABM) was subjected to the boundary conditions from three high-rate experimental cadaver tests with different material parameter combinations. Local displacements, determined experimentally using neutral density targets, were compared to displacements predicted by the ABM at the same locations. Error between the observed and predicted displacements was quantified using CORrelation and Analysis (CORA), an objective signal rating method that evaluates the correlation of two curves. An average CORA score was computed for each variation and maximized to identify the optimal combination of parameters. The strongest relationships between CORA and material parameters were observed for the shear parameters. Using properties obtained through the described multiobjective optimization, the ABM was validated in three impact configurations and shows good agreement with experimental data. The final model developed in this study consists of optimized brain material properties and was validated in three cadaver impacts against local brain displacement data.


Brain atlas Head injury Validation Optimization Finite element model CORA 



Funding for this project is provided by the National Institutes of Health (R01 NS082453). All simulations were run on the DEAC Cluster at Wake Forest University. The authors would like to thank the ANSIR Lab for providing the ICBM label maps and Elizabeth Lillie for her work on the MATLAB code to produce the ABM from the label maps.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wake Forest Center for Injury BiomechanicsWinston-SalemUSA

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