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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 2018, Article ID 8626102, 8 pages
Research Article

A Numerical Investigation of Risk Factors Affecting Lumbar Spine Injuries Using a Detailed Lumbar Model

1School of Technology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
2University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Liang Tang; nc.ude.auhgnist.sliam@40l-gnat and Jingwen Hu; ude.hcimu@uhwj

Received 9 December 2017; Accepted 5 March 2018; Published 17 April 2018

Academic Editor: Kiros Karamanidis

Copyright © 2018 Jiajia Zheng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent field data showed that lumbar spine fractures occurred more frequently in late model vehicles than early ones in frontal crashes. However, the lumbar spine designs of the current crash test dummies are not accurate in human anatomy and have not been validated against any human/cadaver impact responses. In addition, the lumbar spines of finite element (FE) human models, including GHBMC and THUMS, have never been validated previously against cadaver tests. Therefore, this study developed a detailed FE lumbar spine model and validated it against cadaveric tests. To investigate the mechanism of lumbar spine injury in frontal crashes, effects of changing the coefficient of friction (COF), impact velocity, cushion thickness and stiffness, and cushion angle on the risk of lumbar spine injuries were analyzed based on a Taguchi array of design of experiments. The results showed that impact velocity is the most important factor in determining the risk of lumbar spine fracture (). After controlling the impact velocity, increases in the cushion thickness can effectively reduce the risk of lumbar spine fracture ().