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Assessment of in situ chest deflection of post mortem human subjects (PMHS) and personalized human body models (HBM) in nearside oblique impacts

A. Piqueras, B. Pipkorn, J. Iraeus, M. Maza, F.J. López-Valdés

Traffic Injury Prevention Vol. 23, nº. 4, pp. 181 - 186



The present study has three objectives: First, to analyze the chest deflection measured in nearside oblique tests performed with three post mortem human subjects (PMHS). Second, to assess the capability of a HBM to predict the chest deflection sustained by the PMHS. Third to evaluate the influence on chest deflection prediction of subject-specific HBM.


Three dimensional chest deformation of five anterior chest landmarks was extracted from three PMHS (A-C) in three sled tests. The sled test configurations corresponded to a 30 degree nearside oblique impact at 35 km/h. Two different restraint system versions (RSv) were used. RSv1 was used for PMHS A and B while RSv2 was used for PMHS C. The capability of the SAFER HBM (called baseline model) to predict PMHS chest deflection was benchmarked by means of the PMHS test results. In a second step, the anthropometry, mass and pre-impact posture of the baseline HBM were modified to the PMHS-specific characteristics to develop a model to assess the influence of personalization techniques in the capability of the human body model to predict PMHS chest deflection.


In the sled tests, the measured sternum compression relative to the eighth thoracic vertebra in the PMHS tests was 49, 54 and 55 millimeters respectively. The HBM baseline model predicted 48%, 43% and 34% of the deflections measured in the PMHS tests, while the personalized version predicted 38%, 34% and 28%. When chest deflection was analyzed in x-, y- and z-direction for the five chest landmarks it was found that neither the baseline HBM nor the personalized model predicted x, y and z axis deflections.


The PMHS in situ chest deflection was found to be sensitive to the variation in restraint system and the three PMHS exhibited greater values of lower right chest deflection compared to what was found in available literature. The baseline HBM underpredicted peak chest deflection obtained in the PMHS test. The personalized model was not capable of predicting the chest deflection sustained by the PMHS. Hence, further biofidelity investigations have to be carried out on the human body thorax model for oblique loading.

Spanish layman's summary:

Este trabajo presenta los datos experimentales de deflexión torácica en 3D medidos en cadáveres donados a la ciencia sometidos a impactos oblicuos simulados en un trineo de deceleración. Además, evalúa la capacidad de modelos humanos de elementos finitos de predecir los resultados experimentales observados.

English layman's summary:

This paper presented experimental data of the chest deflection in 3D of Post Mortem Human Surrogates exposed to nearside oblique impacts and assess the capabilities of personalized Human Body Models of capturing the deflection observed in the experiments.

Keywords: Chest deflection; human body model (HBM); nearsideoblique impact; post mortem human subjects (PMHS)

JCR Impact Factor and WoS quartile: 2,000 - Q3 (2022)

DOI reference: DOI icon https://doi.org/10.1080/15389588.2022.2036731

Published on paper: March 2022.

Published on-line: February 2022.

A. Piqueras, B. Pipkorn, J. Iraeus, M. Maza, F.J. López-Valdés, Assessment of in situ chest deflection of post mortem human subjects (PMHS) and personalized human body models (HBM) in nearside oblique impacts. Traffic Injury Prevention. Vol. 23, nº. 4, pp. 181 - 186, March 2022. [Online: February 2022]

    Research topics:
  • Biomechanics

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