Research Papers

Development of a Gravid Uterus Model for the Study of Road Accidents Involving Pregnant Women

[+] Author and Article Information
F. Auriault

Aix-Marseille Univ,
Marseille F-13016, France
e-mail: florent.auriault@ifsttar.fr

L. Thollon

Aix-Marseille Univ,
Marseille F-13016, France
e-mail: Lionel.thollon@ifsttar.fr

M. Behr

Aix-Marseille Univ,
F-13016 Marseille, France
e-mail: Michel.behr@ifsttar.fr

Manuscript received April 14, 2015; final manuscript received November 14, 2015; published online December 8, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Brian D. Stemper.

J Biomech Eng 138(1), 011009 (Dec 08, 2015) (6 pages) Paper No: BIO-15-1175; doi: 10.1115/1.4032055 History: Received April 14, 2015; Revised November 14, 2015

Car accident simulations involving pregnant women are well documented in the literature and suggest that intra-uterine pressure could be responsible for the phenomenon of placental abruption, underlining the need for a realistic amniotic fluid model, including fluid–structure interactions (FSI). This study reports the development and validation of an amniotic fluid model using an Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian formulation in the LS-DYNA environment. Dedicated to the study of the mechanisms responsible for fetal injuries resulting from road accidents, the fluid model was validated using dynamic loading tests. Drop tests were performed on a deformable water-filled container at acceleration levels that would be experienced in a gravid uterus during a frontal car collision at 25 kph. During the test device braking phase, container deformation induced by inertial effects and FSI was recorded by kinematic analysis. These tests were then simulated in the LS-DYNA environment to validate a fluid model under dynamic loading, based on the container deformations. Finally, the coupling between the amniotic fluid model and an existing finite-element full-body pregnant woman model was validated in terms of pressure. To do so, experimental test results performed on four postmortem human surrogates (PMHS) (in which a physical gravid uterus model was inserted) were used. The experimental intra-uterine pressure from these tests was compared to intra uterine pressure from a numerical simulation performed under the same loading conditions. Both free fall numerical and experimental responses appear strongly correlated. The relationship between the amniotic fluid model and pregnant woman model provide intra-uterine pressure values correlated with the experimental test responses. The use of an Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian formulation allows the analysis of FSI between the amniotic fluid and the gravid uterus during a road accident involving pregnant women.

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Fig. 2

Sample geometrical parameters and experimental tensile setup

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Fig. 3

Deceleration curves for both initial heights of fall

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Fig. 4

Container model setup

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Fig. 5

Experimental and numerical abdominal loading tests for the coupling validation

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Fig. 6

Tensile tests on container samples: simulation result compared to the experimental corridor

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Fig. 7

Relative container displacement during simulation

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Fig. 8

Relative displacement for the first height of fall (500 mm): Simulation result and experimental corridor

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Fig. 9

Relative displacement for the second height of fall (800 mm): Simulation result and experimental corridor

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Fig. 10

Container changing shape for the first height of fall (500 mm): Simulation result compared to experimental results (A): first squash, (B): first stretch, and (C): second squash

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Fig. 11

Container changing shape for the second height of fall (800 mm): Simulation result compared to experimental results. (A): first squash, (B): first stretch, (C): second squash.

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Fig. 12

Abdominal loading tests: Experimental pressure results compared to simulation result with the new version of the PROMIS model

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Fig. 13

Pregnant abdomen validation



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