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  1. David L. Brody (Ed.)
    The brain injury modeling community has recommended improving model subject specificity and simulation efficiency. Here, we extend an instantaneous (<1 sec) convolutional neural network (CNN) brain model based on the anisotropic Worcester Head Injury Model (WHIM) V1.0 to account for strain differences due to individual morphological variations. Linear scaling factors relative to the generic WHIM along the three anatomical axes are used as additional CNN inputs. To generate training samples, the WHIM is randomly scaled to pair with augmented head impacts randomly generated from real-world data for simulation. An estimation of voxelized peak maximum principal strain of the whole brain is said to be successful when the linear regression slope and Pearson’s correlation coefficient relative to directly simulated do not deviate from 1.0 (when identical) by more than 0.1. Despite a modest training dataset (N=1363 vs. ~5.7 k previously), the individualized CNN achieves a success rate of 86.2% in cross-validation for scaled model responses, and 92.1% for independent generic model testing for impacts considered as complete capture of kinematic events. Using 11 scaled subject-specific models (with scaling factors determined from pre-established regression models based on head dimensions and sex and age information, and notably, without neuroimages), the morphologically individualized CNNmore »remains accurate for impacts that also yield successful estimations for the generic WHIM. The individualized CNN instantly estimates subject-specific and spatially detailed peak strains of the entire brain and thus, supersedes others that report a scalar peak strain value incapable of informing the location of occurrence. This tool could be especially useful for youths and females due to their anticipated greater morphological differences relative to the generic model, even without the need for individual neuroimages. It has potential for a wide range of applications for injury mitigation purposes and the design of head protective gears. The voxelized strains also allow for convenient data sharing and promote collaboration among research groups.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Head acceleration measurement sensors are now widely deployed in the field to monitor head kinematic exposure in contact sports. The wealth of impact kinematics data provides valuable, yet challenging, opportunities to study the biomechanical basis of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and subconcussive kinematic exposure. Head impact kinematics are translated into brain mechanical responses through physics-based computational simulations using validated brain models to study the mechanisms of injury. First, this article reviews representative legacy and contemporary brain biomechanical models primarily used for blunt impact simulation. Then, it summarizes perspectives regarding the development and validation of these models, and discusses how simulation results can be interpreted to facilitate injury risk assessment and head acceleration exposure monitoring in the context of contact sports. Recommendations and consensus statements are presented on the use of validated brain models in conjunction with kinematic sensor data to understand the biomechanics of mTBI and subconcussion. Mainly, there is general consensus that validated brain models have strong potential to improve injury prediction and interpretation of subconcussive kinematic exposure over global head kinematics alone. Nevertheless, a major roadblock to this capability is the lack of sufficient data encompassing different sports, sex, age and other factors. The authors recommendmore »further integration of sensor data and simulations with modern data science techniques to generate large datasets of exposures and predicted brain responses along with associated clinical findings. These efforts are anticipated to help better understand the biomechanical basis of mTBI and improve the effectiveness in monitoring kinematic exposure in contact sports for risk and injury mitigation purposes.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2023