Development and validation of a 10-year-old child ligamentous cervical spine finite element model.Ann Biomed Eng. 2013 Dec; 41(12):2538-52.AB
Although a number of finite element (FE) adult cervical spine models have been developed to understand the injury mechanisms of the neck in automotive related crash scenarios, there have been fewer efforts to develop a child neck model. In this study, a 10-year-old ligamentous cervical spine FE model was developed for application in the improvement of pediatric safety related to motor vehicle crashes. The model geometry was obtained from medical scans and meshed using a multi-block approach. Appropriate properties based on review of literature in conjunction with scaling were assigned to different parts of the model. Child tensile force-deformation data in three segments, Occipital-C2 (C0-C2), C4-C5 and C6-C7, were used to validate the cervical spine model and predict failure forces and displacements. Design of computer experiments was performed to determine failure properties for intervertebral discs and ligaments needed to set up the FE model. The model-predicted ultimate displacements and forces were within the experimental range. The cervical spine FE model was validated in flexion and extension against the child experimental data in three segments, C0-C2, C4-C5 and C6-C7. Other model predictions were found to be consistent with the experimental responses scaled from adult data. The whole cervical spine model was also validated in tension, flexion and extension against the child experimental data. This study provided methods for developing a child ligamentous cervical spine FE model and to predict soft tissue failures in tension.