Dynamic Whole Rib Testing
Traumatic injury of the human thorax accounts for an increasing number of deaths in motor vehicle collisions. By testing a large sample of excised ribs from post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) in a dynamic loading condition which simulates a frontal impact to the thorax, researchers are able to determine structural properties of individual ribs and how those properties vary within the population of vehicle occupants that might experience a frontal crash. Additionally, by utilizing known demographics (e.g., age, sex, BMI) and directly quantifying a hierarchy of parameters that represent the size, shape, and quality of the bone, researchers can tease out sources for variation in rib response to understand differential fracture risk. These data will be used to improve finite element models as well as to establish better criteria for the development of ATDs.