Dynamic Characteristics of the Tissues of the Head

  • James H. McElhaney
  • John W. Melvin
  • Verne L. Roberts
  • Harold D. Portnoy


The mechanical causes of head injury have been the subject of much research and controversy. While there is a large amount of literature concerning the overall physiological and pathological effects of head injury, there is considerably less information available on the mechanical characteristics of the tissues of the head. Yet it is these characteristics that determine the mechanism and extent of injury resulting from a blow to the head. As so well put by Ommaya (1968), ‘an understanding of the effects of trauma and the development of an exact, rational prophylaxis and therapy for head injury cannot be satisfactorily achieved without a quantitative description of the mechanical properties of the tissues involved’.


Head Injury Bulk Modulus Dura Mater Uniaxial Compression Test Human Brain Tissue 
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Further Reading

  1. Crosby, E. C., et al. 1962: ‘Correlative Anatomy of the Nervous System’. Macmillan, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Daly, C. M. 1966: ‘The Biochemical Characteristics of Human Skin’. Ph.D. thesis, University of Strathclyde.Google Scholar
  3. Evans, J. H., and Siesennop, W. W. 1967: Controlled quasistatic testing of human skin in vivo. Dig. 7th Int. Conf. Med. Bio. Engng (Stockholm).Google Scholar
  4. Dodgson, M. C. H. 1962: Colloidal structure of the brain. Biorheology 1: 21–30.Google Scholar
  5. Franke, E. K. 1954: The response of the human skull to mechanical vibrations. WADC Tech. Report 54: 24. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.Google Scholar
  6. Hickman, K. E. 1965: ‘Rheological Behavior of Tissues Subjected to External Pressure’. Ph.D. thesis, Case Western Reserve University.Google Scholar
  7. Mcelhaney, J. H. 1966: Dynamic response of bone and muscle tissue. J.A.P. 21: 4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Bioengineering Unit, University of Strathclyde 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. McElhaney
  • John W. Melvin
  • Verne L. Roberts
    • 1
  • Harold D. Portnoy
    • 2
  1. 1.Highway Safety Research InstituteUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Oakland Neurological ClinicPontiacUSA

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