Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratories

Pediatric Skull Fracture Research

Currently, there is no reliable biomechanical model for pediatric skull fractures. The OBL has begun researching the material and mechanical properties of the developing porcine skull during impacts in order to better understand the nature of injury on devloping cranial bone in humans.

The project, entitled "A Forensic Pathology Tool to Predict Pediatric Skull Fracture Patterns," involves the OBL, MSU Forensic Anthropologist -- Dr. Todd Fenton The collaborative effort from multiple departments hopes to generate a computational model for pediatric head injury that will be used by Forensic Pathologists in cases involving abuse.

Dr. Todd Fenton, Ph.D.
Michigan State University

The OBL's preliminary studies investigated the material properties of the developing porcine skull. Through experimentation on thin beam specimens, our researchers hope to examine such properties as failure strength, energy absorbed and elastic modulus of developing cranial bone.


Top: Diagram of beam specimens used to calculate material properties

Bottom: Computational model of beam specimen during bending

The research at the OBL will also include impact testing on cranial specimens. CT Scans will be done at Wayne State University after impact testing in order to gain a detailed view of fractures on the cranial surface. The mechanics of the skull fracture propogation will then be examined in order to generate the final computational model.

Above: CT Scan of porcine specimen after impact

Left: Computer generated model of porcine skull

Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratories
Attn: Dr. Roger Haut
East Fee Hall
965 Fee Road, Room A-407
East Lansing, MI 48824
phone:(517) 355-0320
email: haut@msu.edu

© 2/15/2012 by MSU OBL.
All Rights Reserved.