Finite element models and material data for analysis of infant head impacts
Finite element (FE) models of the infant human head may be used to discriminate injury patterns resulting from accidents (e.g. falls) and from abusive head trauma (AHT). Existing FE models of infant head impacts are reviewed. Reliability of the material models is the major limitation currently. Infant head tissue properties differ from adults (notably in suture stiffness and strain-to-failure), change with age, and experimental data is scarce. The available data on scalp, cranial bone, dura, and brain are reviewed. Data is most scarce for living brain. All infant head model to date, except one, have used linear elastic models for all tissues except the brain (viscoelastic or Ogden hyperelastic), and do not capture the full complexity of tissue response, but the predicted whole-head response may be of acceptable accuracy. Recent work by Li, Sandler and Kleiven has used hyperelastic models for scalp and dura, and an orthotropic model for bone. There is a need to simulate falls from greater than one metre, and blunt force impacts.