Infant Skull and Suture Properties: Measurements and Implications for Mechanisms of Pediatric Brain Injury

[+] Author and Article Information
Susan S. Margulies, Kirk L. Thibault

Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104

J Biomech Eng 122(4), 364-371 (Mar 28, 2000) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1287160 History: Received January 07, 1999; Revised March 28, 2000
Copyright © 2000 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


McPherson,  G. K., and Kriewall,  T. J., 1980, “The Elastic Modulus of Fetal Cranial Bone: A First Step Towards an Understanding of the Biomechanics of Fetal Head Molding,” J. Biomech., 13, pp. 9–16.
Kriewall,  T. K., , 1981, “Bending Properties and Ash Content of Fetal Cranial Bone,” J. Biomech., 14, pp. 73–79.
Kriewall,  T. J., 1982, “Structural, Mechanical, and Material Properties of Fetal Cranial Bone,” Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol., 143, pp. 707–714.
Dejeammes, M., et al., 1984, “Exploration of Biomechanical Data Towards a Better Evaluation of Tolerance for Children Involved in Automotive Accidents,” SAE 840530 pp. 427–440.
Duhaime,  A. C., , 1987, “The Shaken Baby Syndrome—A Clinical Pathological, and Biomechanical Study,” J. Neurosurg., 66, pp. 409–415.
Stürtz, G., 1980, “Biomechanical Data of Children,” SAE Paper No. 801313.
Mohan,  D., Bowman,  B. M., Snyder,  R. G., and Fourst,  D. R., 1979, “A Biomechanical Analysis of Head Impact Injuries to Children,” ASME J. Biomech. Eng., 101, pp. 250–260.
Hubbard,  R. P., 1971, “Flexure of Layered Cranial Bone,” J. Biomech., 4, pp. 251–263.
McElhaney,  J. H., , 1970, “Mechanical Properties of Cranial Bone,” J. Biomech., 3, pp. 495–511.
Thibault,  K. L., and Margulies,  S. S., 1998, “Age-Dependent Material Properties of Porcine Cerebrum: Effect on Pediatric Inertial Head Injury Criteria,” J. Biomech., 31, pp. 1119–1126.
Timoshenko, S. P., and Goodier, J. N., 1951, Theory of Elasticity, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Datsko, J., 1986, “Solid Materials,” in: Shigley J. E., and Mischke, C. R., eds., Standard Handbook of Machine Design, McGraw-Hill, New York, Chap. 7.
Margulies,  S. S., Thibault,  L. E., and Gennarelli,  T. A., 1990, “Physical Model Simulations of Brain Injury in the Primate,” J. Biomech., 23, pp. 823–836.
Shreiber, D. I., Bain, A. C., and Meaney, D., 1997, “In Vivo Thresholds for Mechanical Injury to the Blood–Brain Barrier,” Proc. 41st Stapp Car Crash Conference, pp. 277–291.
Gennarelli, T. A., and Meaney, D. F., 1996, “Primary Head Injury Mechanisms,” in: Neurosurgery, 2 , Wiekens, B., ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, pp. 2611–2621.
Dickerson,  J. W. T., and Dobbing,  J., 1966, “Prenatal and Postnatal Growth and Development of the Central Nervous System of the Pig,” Proc. R. Soc. London, Ser. B, 166, pp. 384–395.
Dobbing, J., 1964, “The Later Development of the Brain and Its Vulnerability,” in: Scientific Foundations of Paediatrics, Davis, J. A., and Dobbings, J., eds., Heinemann Medical, London.
Johnson,  A. F., and Sims,  G. D., 1986, “Mechanical Properties and Design of Sandwich Materials,” Composites, 17, No. 4, pp. 321–328.
Wood,  J. L., 1971, “Dynamic Response of Human Cranial Bone,” J. Biomech., 4, pp. 1–12.
Hubbard,  R. P., , 1971, “Flexure of Cranial Sutures,” J. Biomech., 4, pp. 491–496.
Jaslow,  C. R., 1990, “Mechanical Properties of Cranial Sutures,” J. Biomech., 23, No. 4, pp. 313–321.
Wainwright, S. A., et al., 1976, Mechanical Design of Organisms, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
Evans,  F. G., and Lissner,  H. R., 1957, “Tensile and Compressive Strength of Human Parietal Bone,” J. Appl. Physiol., 10, pp. 493–497.
Melvin,  J. W., , 1969, “The Mechanical Behavior of the Diploë Layer of the Human Skull in Compression,” Development in Mechanics: Proc. Midwestern Mechanics Conference, 5, pp. 811–818.


Grahic Jump Location
Infant cranial vault: Shaded areas represent approximate size and location of skull and suture samples removed.
Grahic Jump Location
Schematic of finite element mesh. Refer to text for skull and suture properties.
Grahic Jump Location
Schematic diagram of yield criteria for tensile tests
Grahic Jump Location
Human infant cranial bone specimens: (a) rupture modulus, (b) elastic modulus, and (c) energy absorbed to failure plotted against age
Grahic Jump Location
Maximum principal strain in idealized infant head finite element model at t=5 ms (at peak load) for adult braincase properties and pediatric properties, for half-sine load magnitudes of 1000 N and 5000 N, respectively
Grahic Jump Location
Elastic modulus versus age for human infant cranial bone. Human data obtained in the current study shows agreement with the literature for quasi-static three-point bending.
Grahic Jump Location
(a) Elastic modulus of porcine and human infant cranial bone determined from three-point bending tests; (b) rupture modulus of porcine and human infant cranial bone; (c) energy absorbed to failure of porcine and human infant cranial bone; slow rate (2.54 mm/min) and fast rate (2540 mm/min)




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In