Recognizing the association of angular loading with brain injuries and inconsistency in previous studies in the application of the biphasic loads to animal, physical, and experimental models, the present study examined the role of the acceleration–deceleration pulse shapes on region-specific strains. An experimentally validated two-dimensional finite element model representing the adult male human head was used. The model simulated the skull and falx as a linear elastic material, cerebrospinal fluid as a hydrodynamic material, and cerebrum as a linear viscoelastic material. The angular loading matrix consisted coronal plane rotation about a center of rotation that was acceleration-only (4.5 ms duration, 7.8 krad/s/s peak), deceleration-only (20 ms, 1.4 krad/s/s peak), acceleration–deceleration, and deceleration–acceleration pulses. Both biphasic pulses had peaks separated by intervals ranging from 0 to 25 ms. Principal strains were determined at the corpus callosum, base of the postcentral sulcus, and cerebral cortex of the parietal lobe. The cerebrum was divided into 17 regions and peak values of average maximum principal strains were determined. In all simulations, the corpus callosum responded with the highest strains. Strains were the least under all simulations in the lower parietal lobes. In all regions peak strains were the same for both monophase pulses suggesting that the angular velocity may be a better metric than peak acceleration or deceleration. In contrast, for the biphasic pulse, peak strains were region- and pulse-shape specific. Peak values were lower in both biphasic pulses when there was no time separation between the pulses than the corresponding monophase pulse. Increasing separation time intervals increased strains, albeit non-uniformly. Acceleration followed by deceleration pulse produced greater strains in all regions than the other form of biphasic pulse. Thus, pulse shape appears to have an effect on regional strains in the brain.
Keywords: Rotational acceleration; Brain trauma; Finite element model; Strain; Pulse shape