Physical models of the parasagittal human skull/brain have been tested to investigate whether the cerebral ventricles provide natural protection of the brain by relieving strain during head rotation. A sophisticated model included anatomical structures, and a semicircular model consisted of a cylinder divided into two semicircles. Silicone gel simulated the brain and was detached from the vessel by a layer of liquid paraffin simulating the cerebrospinal fluid. Both models were run with and without an elliptical inclusion filled with liquid paraffin simulating a cerebral ventricle. The 2D models were exposed to angular acceleration by a pendulum impact causing 7600 rad/s2 peak rotational acceleration with 6 ms pulse duration. After rotating 100°, the models were decelerated during 30 ms. The trajectory of grid markers was analyzed from high-speed video (1000 frames/s). Rigid-body displacement, shear strain and principal strain were determined from the displacement of three-point sets inferior and superior to the ventricle. For the subventricular (inferior) region in the sophisticated model, approximately 40% lower peak strain values were obtained in the model with ventricle than in the one without. Subcortical displacement was reduced by 12%. Corresponding strain reduction in the subcortical (superior) region was approximately 40% following the acceleration and 25% following the deceleration. Similar but less pronounced effects were found for the semicircular model. The lateral ventricles play an important role as strain relievers and provide natural protection against brain injury.
Keywords: Brain; Impact; Injury; Strain; Ventricle