Design of a traumatic injury simulator for assessing lower limb response to high loading rates

Ann Biomed Eng. 2013 Sep;41(9):1957-67. doi: 10.1007/s10439-013-0814-6. Epub 2013 Apr 24.


Current military conflicts are characterized by the use of the improvised explosive device. Improvements in personal protection, medical care, and evacuation logistics have resulted in increasing numbers of casualties surviving with complex musculoskeletal injuries, often leading to life-long disability. Thus, there exists an urgent requirement to investigate the mechanism of extremity injury caused by these devices in order to develop mitigation strategies. In addition, the wounds of war are no longer restricted to the battlefield; similar injuries can be witnessed in civilian centers following a terrorist attack. Key to understanding such mechanisms of injury is the ability to deconstruct the complexities of an explosive event into a controlled, laboratory-based environment. In this article, a traumatic injury simulator, designed to recreate in the laboratory the impulse that is transferred to the lower extremity from an anti-vehicle explosion, is presented and characterized experimentally and numerically. Tests with instrumented cadaveric limbs were then conducted to assess the simulator's ability to interact with the human in two mounting conditions, simulating typical seated and standing vehicle passengers. This experimental device will now allow us to (a) gain comprehensive understanding of the load-transfer mechanisms through the lower limb, (b) characterize the dissipating capacity of mitigation technologies, and (c) assess the bio-fidelity of surrogates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blast Injuries*
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity / injuries*
  • Military Medicine / instrumentation*
  • Military Medicine / methods