Using Microscale Models to Enhance Predictions of Damage to Soft Tissues

Phillip Paul | 19-FS-070

Project Overview

The objective of this feasibility study was to demonstrate the use of a micromechanics-informed tissue damage model, implemented within ALE3D (a large three-dimensional multi-physics computer model), to simulate the role of blast impacts on protein damage in a simulated rat brain. Understanding the influence of blast impacts is critical to understanding traumatic brain injury, which is important for warfighters and other situations. In this study, we incorporated a tissue damage model into the ALE3D code and successfully used it to predict the amount of tau protein damage distributed throughout a simulated rat brain based on blast pressure loading (e.g., instantaneous pressure due to a blast). We found that this modeling approach and its implementation in ALE3D enables a more accurate representation of tau protein damage throughout the soft tissue system compared to current models, and we demonstrated the ability to use this modeling approach to capture the relevant damage mechanism for traumatic brain injury. 

Mission Impact

This project supports Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s core competency in bioscience and bioengineering by improving our capability to simulate the nature and extent of damage to soft tissue systems subjected to high-energy impacts. This study also supports the Laboratory’s efforts in ensuring the safety and security of our warfighters.