Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Type



Rapid deformation of brain tissue caused by skull acceleration is one of the most significant causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Although the deformation mechanisms within the brain have been revealed by analysis of tagged magnetic resonance images, the mechanical responses at the periphery of the brain remain uncertain due to challenges associated with interpreting those data quantitatively. In the present study, we applied a new strain estimation algorithm that enabled the first tracking of strains on the periphery of the brain. After validating the technique on a tagged gel phantom, we applied it to images of the brains of live human volunteers undergoing controlled head deceleration. Results revealed strain concentrations at the brain-skull interface that are mediated both by the shape of the skull and by the connective tissue that anchors the brain inside the skull. Strain magnitudes were elevated in the sub-arachnoid space, and strain concentrations were evident near the falx cerebri. Additionally, we found that strain magnitudes at the brain-skull interface were increased in skulls with regions of relatively high curvature. Taken together, these first quantitative maps of mechanical fields at the periphery of the brain show key roles for skull shape and brain tethering in the response of the brain to acceleration, and suggest that brain-skull interfaces are a factor in determining an individual’s response to head acceleration.


English (en)


Dr. Philip V Bayly

Committee Members

Guy M Genin, Phd Philip V Bayly, Phd Amit Pathak, Phd


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/K7TT4PD4

Available for download on Tuesday, September 13, 2044