Technical Brief

Characterizing the Importance of Free Space in the Numerical Human Body Models

[+] Author and Article Information
Omar Chebil

Aix-Marseille University,
Boulevard Pierre Dramard F-13015,
Marseille 13916, France
Boulevard Pierre Dramard F-13015,
Marseille 13916, France
e-mail: chebilom@gmail.com

Pierre-Jean Arnoux

Aix-Marseille University,
Boulevard Pierre Dramard F-13015,
Marseille 13916, France
Boulevard Pierre Dramard F-13015,
Marseille 13916, France
e-mail: pierre-jean.arnoux@ifsttar.fr

Michel Behr

Aix-Marseille University,
Boulevard Pierre Dramard F-13015,
Marseille 13916, France
Boulevard Pierre Dramard F-13015,
Marseille 13916, France
e-mail: Michel.behr@ifsttar.fr

1Corresponding author.

2Present address: Faculté de Médecine–Secteur Nord, UMRT 24, Bd P. Dramard, Marseille 13 916, France.

Manuscript received July 8, 2013; final manuscript received December 5, 2014; published online January 29, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Barclay Morrison.

J Biomech Eng 137(3), 034501 (Mar 01, 2015) (5 pages) Paper No: BIO-13-1304; doi: 10.1115/1.4029502 History: Received July 08, 2013; Revised December 05, 2014; Online January 29, 2015

The geometric fidelity of the inner organs on finite-element model (FEM) of the human body and the choice to use discontinuous mesh engender the appearance of empty spaces that do not reflect the real-life situation of human body cavities. The aim of this study is to assess the influence of these empty spaces on the behavior of a simplified FEM built with three different structures in interaction which properties are relevant with the abdominal cavity. This FEM is made up of a large sphere (peritoneum) containing two hemispheres (liver and spleen). The space between peritoneum and inner organs was defined with two different approaches and assessed under impact conditions. The first is a meshfree space (Mfs) approach, e.g., consider the space as a perfect gas. The second approach, meshed space (MS), entailed adding volumetric elements in the empty space. From each approach, one optimal configuration was identified regarding the recorded force versus compression, the mobility of inner organs, and the space incompressibility. This space has a considerable influence on the behavior of the FEM and mainly on the applied loadings of inner organs (difference reaching 70% according to the configuration). For the first approach, the incompressible gas is designated because it guarantees space incompressibility (vf/vi = 1) and inner organs loading with the lowest delay (for high impact velocity: Peak force = 89 N, compression 47%). For the second approach, the discontinuous volumetric mesh is preferred because it promotes space incompressibility (vf/vi = 0.94) and acceptable force reaction (for high impact velocity: Peak force = 97 N, compression 49%). The current study shows the importance of this space on the human FEMs cavities behavior and proposes two configurations able to be used in a future study including detailed FEM.

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Fig. 1

Simplified FEM of the abdominal region: (a) Sectional view of the model. (b) A section showing the empty space between the peritoneum and the inner organs.

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Fig. 2

Impact test on the model of the abdominal region

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Fig. 3

The numerical response at the impactor in the five configurations (V = 1 m/s)

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Fig. 4

The numerical response at the rigid wall in the five configurations (V = 1 m/s)

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Fig. 5

Abdominal responses of each configuration with an impact velocity V = 5 m/s

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Fig. 6

Comparison between the two approaches: Global displacement of inner organs at an abdominal compression level equal to 50%

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Fig. 7

Comparison between the two approaches: Shape of inner organs for an abdominal compression equal to 50%



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