A multi-body dynamics study on a weight-drop test of rat brain injury

Wenyi Yan, Germain Sossou, Ramesh Rajan

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI), induced by impact of an object with the head, is a major health problem worldwide. Rats are a well-established animal analogue for study of TBI and the weight-drop impact-acceleration (WDIA) method is a well-established model in rats for creating diffuse TBI, the most common form of TBI seen in humans. However, little is known of the biomechanics of the WDIA method and, to address this, we have developed a four-degrees-of-freedom multi-body mass-spring-damper model for the WDIA test in rats. An analytical expression of the maximum skull acceleration, one of the important head injury predictor, was derived and it shows that the maximum skull acceleration is proportional to the impact velocity but independent of the impactor mass. Furthermore, a dimensional analysis disclosed that the maximum force on the brain and maximum relative displacement between brain and skull are also linearly proportional to impact velocity. Additionally, the effects of the impactor mass were examined through a parametric study from the developed multi-body dynamics model. It was found that increasing impactor mass increased these two brain injury predictors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-616
Number of pages15
JournalComputer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2017


  • multi-body dynamics
  • rat brain injury model
  • Traumatic brain injury

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