Characterization of Human Rib Biomechanical Responses due to Three-Point Bending

Paper #:
  • 2015-22-0005

Published:
  • 2015-11-09
Pages:
18
Abstract:
In the elderly population, rib fracture is one of the most common injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes. The current study was conducted to predict the biomechanical fracture responses of ribs with respect to age, gender, height, weight and percentage of ash content. Three-point bending experiments were conducted on 278 isolated rib samples extracted from 82 cadaver specimens (53 males and 29 females between the ages of 21 and 87 years) for 6th and 7th levels of ribs. Statistical analyses were carried out to identify differences based on age and gender. It was found that, in comparison to males, females had significantly lower values for maximum bending moments, slopes of bending moment-angle curves, and average cortical-bone thickness (p < 0.05). Samples of ribs taken from elderly specimens failed at lower values of fracture moments than those from younger specimens, and had lower slopes of bending moment-angle curves, both in males and females (p < 0.05). The generalized estimated equations were developed to predict the values of biomechanical response and average cortical thickness based on age, gender, height and weight of individual specimens. Results from the current study illustrate that biomechanical responses and rib cortical thicknesses are functions of age, gender, height and weight. However, the current study is limited to a quasi-static loading scheme, which is different from real crash conditions. Hence, rib-material properties, which are dependent on strain rate, and are needed for whole-body finite element models representing different populations, still require more research.
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