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A computational dynamic finite element simulation of the thoracic vertebrae under blunt loading: spinal cord injury

  • Hasan BiglariEmail author
  • Reza Razaghi
  • Sina Ebrahimi
  • Alireza Karimi
Technical Paper
  • 40 Downloads

Abstract

Spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular bundle of nervous tissue located in the vertebral column. Since the spinal cord is one of the most crucial pathways for information connecting of the central nervous system, it has to stay safe under any blunt impact loading, i.e., accident, punch, gunshot, burst, etc. Therefore, it is important to investigate the possible injuries that may occur in the vertebral column, especially the spinal cord, as a result of blunt loading. However, due to various experimental limitations, numerical modelling, specifically finite element (FE) models, has been beneficial in predicting the injury to the spinal cord. This study, thus, aimed at predicting the stresses and deformations of a patient-specific FE model of the thoracic vertebral body, intervertebral disc, and spinal cord, which have been modelled according to the computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging data, under blunt impact at different angles of 0°, 30°, and 45°. The model exhibited angle sensitive impact characteristics, and the stresses of the intervertebral disc and spinal cord significantly influenced the overall impact response in the simulated impact conditions. The highest amount of von Mises stresses in the vertebral body, intervertebral disc, and spinal cord was observed under the impact angle of 0° with 58.47, 7.26, and 0.13 MPa, respectively. The highest deformation in the spinal cord was 1.42 mm under the impact angle of 0°. The results of the this study have implications not only for understanding the stresses and deformations in the vertebral body, intervertebral disc, and spinal cord under the blunt loading, but also for providing a comprehensive information for the medical and biomechanical experts in regard to the role of the impact angle on the injury to the vertebral column.

Keywords

Vertebral body Intervertebral disc Spinal cord Blunt loading Finite element modelling Injury 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© The Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hasan Biglari
    • 1
    Email author
  • Reza Razaghi
    • 1
    • 4
  • Sina Ebrahimi
    • 2
  • Alireza Karimi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringSharif University of TechnologyTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  4. 4.Basir Eye Health Research CenterTehranIran

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