The impact and injury response of the abdomen has been studied using a variety of testing modes on a variety of scales. Much of the research has focused on the whole-body level response of the abdomen to simplified inputs simulating interaction with steering components or restraint systems. These studies generally strive to provide the load vs. penetration response of the abdomen , with some correlation of injury to potential injury metrics, and they attempt to enhance our understanding of possible injury mechanisms. On the structure scale, investigators have examined the response of organ systems (or portions thereof) to impact or quasi-static tension or compression. On the tissue scale, dog bone or plug samples of solid organs have been tested in tension or compression, and cruciate samples of hollow organs have been tested under high-rate equibiaxial stretch.
This chapter provides a retrospective look at, and analysis of, a number of the cadaver and animal tests of the abdomen that are available in the literature. It begins with a review of pertinent anatomy, and discusses some of the injury mechanisms and metrics that investigators have studied, which have contributed to the design and implementation of injury mitigation tools such as improved physical surrogates. The discussion includes some of the organ and tissue testing that supports the continuing development of computational models, and concludes with thoughts on issues important to future study of abdominal biomechanics.