A recent RAND report estimates that 320,000 service members or 20% of the deployed force (total deployed 1.6 million) potentially suffer from TBI. In Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), about two thirds of patients with TBI were documented to have been wearing protective equipment at the time of injury. The role of protective gear such as helmet is often been questioned in mitigiating asymmetric combat scenarios like IED attacks. Though helmets provide protection against ballistic and impact loading, it is unlikely that they provide protection against blast. The main goal of this project is to understand role of helmet/s under blast loading conditions.
Modeling and simulation activities are becoming increasingly important in the area of brain biomechanics with application to primary blast injury (PBI). Although current FE head models include a detailed geometrical description of the head's intracranial contents, there is a crucial lack of material models for the brain which are appropriate to use in blast scenarios analysis, i.e. over a large strain/ very high frequency range.
The external mechanical load will firstly cause the mechanical deformation of neurons, and then, when this deformation reaches to a critical point (threshold), it will initiate the chemical/biological response. The chemical/biological response can cause the neuronal function loss—neuronal injury. This process is considered to be the mechanism of the mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) at the cellular level. Understanding the relationship between the neuronal mechanical response and their biological responses is the first important step to understand the mechanism of mTBI.