How does a three-dimensional continuum muscle model affect the kinematics and muscle strains of a finite element neck model compared to a discrete muscle model in rear-end, frontal, and lateral impacts.Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Apr 15; 33(8):E236-45.S
A finite element (FE) model of the human neck with incorporated continuum or discrete muscles was used to simulate experimental impacts in rear, frontal, and lateral directions.
The aim of this study was to determine how a continuum muscle model influences the impact behavior of a FE human neck model compared with a discrete muscle model.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA
Most FE neck models used for impact analysis today include a spring element musculature and are limited to discrete geometries and nodal output results. A solid-element muscle model was thought to improve the behavior of the model by adding properties such as tissue inertia and compressive stiffness and by improving the geometry. It would also predict the strain distribution within the continuum elements.
A passive continuum muscle model with nonlinear viscoelastic materials was incorporated into the KTH neck model together with active spring muscles and used in impact simulations. The resulting head and vertebral kinematics was compared with the results from a discrete muscle model as well as volunteer corridors. The muscle strain prediction was compared between the 2 muscle models.
The head and vertebral kinematics were within the volunteer corridors for both models when activated. The continuum model behaved more stiffly than the discrete model and needed less active force to fit the experimental results. The largest difference was seen in the rear impact. The strain predicted by the continuum model was lower than for the discrete model.
The continuum muscle model stiffened the response of the KTH neck model compared with a discrete model, and the strain prediction in the muscles was improved.