University of Cambridge > > Engineering - Mechanics and Materials Seminar Series > Mechanical behaviour of the lower limb under high strain rates

Mechanical behaviour of the lower limb under high strain rates

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ms Helen Gardner.

The current conflicts in the Middle East have been epitomised by the insurgents’ use of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) against security forces. Improvements in personal protection, medical care and evacuation logistics have resulted in increasing numbers of casualties surviving with complex musculoskeletal injuries, often leading to life-long disability.

The aim of the Imperial Blast grouping is to establish fundamental understanding of musculoskeletal tissue dysfunction caused by blast-related loads by analysing clinical data and developing experimental and computational models of blast injury in order to impact on mitigation.

The work presented in this talk focuses on the lower limb and its protection, since it is the most frequently injured part of the musculoskeletal system in survivors. We have designed and built a traumatic injury simulator in order to look at the mechanism of injury and we have used standard materials testing techniques to understand bone and ligament behaviour across loading rates. We have also looked at the behaviour of the combat boot and its individual layers across loading rates, and we have experimented with anthropometric test devices (often referred to as ‘dummies’) to understand their bio-fidelity. As with much applied research that requires new basic science and experimental techniques to understand and influence extreme processes, this research has its political, organisational, funding, collaborative and personal challenges; this will be alluded to during the talk.

This talk is part of the Engineering - Mechanics and Materials Seminar Series series.

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