Finite element head simulation towards improved treatment of patients with traumatic brain injury and stroke

SNIC 2017/1-452


SNAC Medium

Principal Investigator:

Xiaogai Li


Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

20699: Other Medical Engineering

Secondary Classification:

30402: Biomedical Laboratory Science/Technology



Finite element (FE) method is a numerical approach to solve partial differential equations (PDEs). It allows accounting anatomical details, together with advanced material properties, has been shown a powerful tool in neurosurgical simulations, such as Decompressive Craniotomy (DC). In our earlier studies [1,2], FE head models were developed to study the mechanical consequence of brain tissue stretching when opening the skull at different locations during DC using COMSOL Multiphysics. A continued project has been initiated to further develop the models with more patient-specific data, aiming at providing evidences for neurosurgeons to decide the optimal DC treatment regarding the size and location tailored for a specific patient. Further, novel devices to reduce the stretching of brain tissue faster after DC will also be investigated using FE head simulations. For this, more detailed head models are needed with millions of FE elements thus require computational resources with extensive internal memory which are outside the capacity of our local resources and this motivates the current application. [1] Li X, von Holst H. Finite element modeling of decompressive craniectomy (DC) and its clinical validation. Adv. Biomed. Sci. Eng. 2015;2(1):1-9. [2] von Holst H, Li X. Decompressive craniectomy (DC) at the non-injured side of the brain has the potential to improve patient outcome as measured with computational simulation. Acta neurochirurgica. 2014 Oct 1;156(10):1961-7.