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The use of different CSF representations in a numerical head model and their effect on the results of FE head impact analyses

To gain better insight in the mechanopathogenesis of brain and skull lesions and to improve the design of protective devices like helmets, finite element (FE) head models are used. Current FE head models have a detailed geometrical description of the anatomical components of the head but often lack an accurate description of the behavior of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Different material properties, mesh resolutions and numerical implementations are used to represent the CSF in those head models. To examine the effect of those different CSF representations on the brain mechanical responses such as strain energy, Von Mises stress, strain and intracranial pressure, this paper starts with the development of a simplified head model and small adaptations are made to the representation of the CSF, both in mesh resolution and constitutive modeling. From this study it follows that depending on which material definition is used for modeling the CSF, the mesh resolution of the CSF can have an important effect on the brain mechanical responses. The study also highlights the need for a more accurate description of CSF material, since the CSF material properties, both material definition and property values, have a significant effect on the results of a head impact analysis.