Dynamic Failure Properties of the Porcine Medial Collateral Ligament-Bone Complex for Predicting Injury in Automotive Collisions

The Open Biomedical Engineering Journal 9 Mar 2010 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874120701004010077


The goal of this study was to model the dynamic failure properties of ligaments and their attachment sites to facilitate the development of more realistic dynamic finite element models of the human lower extremities for use in automotive collision simulations. Porcine medial collateral ligaments were chosen as a test model due to their similarities in size and geometry with human ligaments. Each porcine medial collateral ligament-bone complex (n = 12) was held in a custom test fixture placed in a drop tower to apply an axial impulsive impact load, applying strain rates ranging from 0.005 s-1 to 145 s-1. The data from the impact tests were analyzed using nonlinear regression to construct model equations for predicting the failure load of ligament-bone complexes subjected to specific strain rates as calculated from finite element knee, thigh, and hip impact simulations. The majority of the ligaments tested failed by tibial avulsion (75%) while the remaining ligaments failed via mid-substance tearing. The failure load ranged from 384 N to 1184 N and was found to increase with the applied strain rate and the product of ligament length and cross-sectional area. The findings of this study indicate the force required to rupture the porcine MCL increases with the applied bone-to-bone strain rate in the range expected from high speed frontal automotive collisions.

Keywords: Porcine, ligament, failure, injury, modeling, automotive, collision..
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