Author's School

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Author's Department/Program

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science


English (en)

Date of Award

Winter 1-1-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Philip V Bayly


Traumatic brain injury is an important medical problem affecting millions of people. Mathematical models of brain biomechanics are being developed to simulate the mechanics of brain injury and to design protective devices. However, because of a lack of quantitative data on brain-skull boundary conditions and deformations, the predictions of mathematical models remain uncertain. The objectives of this dissertation are to develop methods and obtain experimental data that will be used to parameterize and validate models of traumatic brain injury. To that end, this dissertation first addresses the brain-skull boundary conditions by measuring human brain motion using tagged magnetic resonance imaging. Magnetic resonance elastography was performed in the ferret brain to measure its mechanical properties in vivo. Brain tissue is not only heterogeneous, but may also be anisotropic. To characterize tissue anisotropy, an experimental procedure combining both shear testing and indentation was developed and applied to white matter and gray matter. These measurements of brain-skull interactions and mechanical properties of the brain will be valuable in the development and validation of finite element simulations of brain biomechanics.


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