Design of a Traumatic Injury Simulator for Assessing Lower Limb Response to High Loading Rates
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Current military conflicts are characterized by the use of the improvised explosive device. Improvements in personal protection, medical care, and evacuation logistics have resulted in increasing numbers of casualties surviving with complex musculoskeletal injuries, often leading to life-long disability. Thus, there exists an urgent requirement to investigate the mechanism of extremity injury caused by these devices in order to develop mitigation strategies. In addition, the wounds of war are no longer restricted to the battlefield; similar injuries can be witnessed in civilian centers following a terrorist attack. Key to understanding such mechanisms of injury is the ability to deconstruct the complexities of an explosive event into a controlled, laboratory-based environment. In this article, a traumatic injury simulator, designed to recreate in the laboratory the impulse that is transferred to the lower extremity from an anti-vehicle explosion, is presented and characterized experimentally and numerically. Tests with instrumented cadaveric limbs were then conducted to assess the simulator’s ability to interact with the human in two mounting conditions, simulating typical seated and standing vehicle passengers. This experimental device will now allow us to (a) gain comprehensive understanding of the load-transfer mechanisms through the lower limb, (b) characterize the dissipating capacity of mitigation technologies, and (c) assess the bio-fidelity of surrogates.
KeywordsBlast injury Anti-vehicle mine Biomechanics Cadaveric Finite element modeling Impact testing Foot and ankle Surgical amputation Military medicine
The authors would like to express their appreciation to Northern Hydraulic Cylinder Engineers Ltd. for the construction of AnUBIS, and Warrant Officer Rachel Mackenzie MBE in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham for operating the CT scanner out of office hours. The costs for the construction and design of the rig were covered by the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF)—The Soldiers’ Charity; the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help; the FH Muirhead Charitable Trust; the Drummond Foundation; and the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). The financial support of the Defence Medical Services (DMS) for AR, TJB, AMH, ATHW, and JCC, of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) for the acquisition of equipment and consumables, of BBSRC for NN, and of Dstl and ABF—The Soldiers’ Charity for SDM are kindly acknowledged.
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