Experimental Injury Biomechanics of the Pediatric Thorax and Abdomen

  • Richard Kent
  • Johan Ivarsson
  • Matthew R. Maltese


Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for children in the United States. Pediatric anthropomorphic test devices (ATD) and computational models are important tools for the evaluation and optimization of automotive restraint systems for child occupants. The thorax interacts with the restraints within the vehicle, and any thoracic model must mimic this interaction in a biofidelic manner to ensure that restraint designs protect humans as intended. To define thoracic biofidelity for adults, Kroell et al. (1974) conducted blunt impacts to the thoraces of adult postmortem human subjects (PMHS), which have formed the basis for biofidelity standards for modern adult ATD thoraces (Mertz et al. 1989). The paucity of pediatric PMHS for impact research led to the development of pediatric model biofidelity requirements through scaling. Geometric scale factors and elastic moduli of skull and long bone have been used to scale the adult thoracic biofidelity responses to the 3-, 6-, and 10-year-old child (Irwin and Mertz 1997; Mertz et al. 2001; van Ratingen et al. 1997). There is currently a need for data that apply to the child without scaling, both for validation of scaling methods used in the past and to confirm the validity of the specifications currently used to develop models of the child.


Strain Energy Density Costal Cartilage Impact Speed Transpulmonary Pressure Booster Seat 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Kent
    • 1
  • Johan Ivarsson
    • 2
  • Matthew R. Maltese
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Applied BiomechanicsUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Biomechanics PracticeExponent, Inc.PhoenixUSA
  3. 3.Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA

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