Developing computational models of the human spine has been a hot topic in
biornechanical research for a couple of decades in order to have an
understanding of the behaviour of the whole spine and the individual spinal
parts under various loading conditions. The objectives of this thesis are to
develop a biofidefic multi-body model of the whole human spine especially for
dynamic analysis of impact situations, such as frontal impact in a car crash, and
to generate finite element (FE) models of the specific spinal parts to investigate
causes of injury of the spinal components. As a proposed approach, the
predictions of the multi-body model under dynamic impact loading conditions,
such as reaction forces at lumbar motion segments, were utilised not only to
have a better understanding of the gross kinetics and kinematics of the human
spine, but also to constitute the boundary conditions for the finite element
models of the selected spinal components. This novel approach provides a
versatile, cost effective and powerful tool to analyse the behaviour of the spine
under various loading conditions which in turn helps to develop a better understanding of injury mechanisms.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.