A paradigm for human body finite element model integration from a set of regional models

Biomed Sci Instrum. 2012;48:423-30.


Computational modeling offers versatility, scalability, and cost advantages to researchers in the trauma and injury biomechanics communities. The Global Human Body Models Consortium (GHBMC) is a group of government, industry, and academic researchers developing human body models (HBMs) that aim to become the standard tool to meet this growing research need. The objective of this study is to present the methods used to develop the average seated male occupant model (M50, weight = 78 kg, height = 175 cm) from five separately validated body region models (BRMs). BRMs include the head, neck, thorax, abdomen, and a combined pelvis and lower extremity model. Modeling domains were split at the atlanto-occipital joint, C7-T1 boundary, diaphragm, abdominal cavity (peritoneum/retroperitoneum), and the acetabulum respectively. BRM meshes are based on a custom CAD model of the seated male built from a multi-modality imaging protocol of a volunteer subject found in literature.[1] Various meshing techniques were used to integrate the full body model (FBM) including 1-D beam and discrete element connections (e.g. ligamentous structures), 2D shell nodal connections (e.g. inferior vena cava to right atrium), 3D hexahedral nodal connections (e.g. soft tissue envelope connections between regions), and contact definitions varying from tied (muscle insertions) to sliding (liver and diaphragm contact). The model was developed in a general-purpose finite element code, LS-Dyna (LTSC, Livermore, CA) R4.2.1., and consists of 1.95 million elements and 1.3 million nodes. The element breakdown by type is 41% hexahedral, 33.7% tetrahedral, 19.5% quad shells and 5% tria shell. The integration methodology presented highlights the viability of using a collaborative development paradigm for the construction of HBMs, and will be used as template for expanding the suite of GHBMC models.