Mechanical Response of Porcine Liver Tissue under High Strain Rate Compression
In automobile accidents, abdominal injuries are often life-threatening yet not apparent at the time of initial injury. The liver is the most commonly injured abdominal organ from this type of trauma. In contrast to current safety tests involving crash dummies, a more detailed, efficient approach to predict the risk of human injuries is computational modelling and simulations. Further, the development of accurate computational human models requires knowledge of the mechanical properties of tissues in various stress states, especially in high-impact scenarios. In this study, a polymeric split-Hopkinson pressure bar (PSHPB) was utilized to apply various high strain rates to porcine liver tissue to investigate its material behavior during high strain rate compression. Liver tissues were subjected to high strain rate impacts at 350, 550, 1000, and 1550 s(-1). Tissue directional dependency was also explored by PSHPB testing along three orthogonal directions of liver at a strain rate of 350 s(-1). Histology of samples from each of the three directions was performed to examine the structural properties of porcine liver. Porcine liver tissue showed an inelastic and strain rate-sensitive response at high strain rates. The liver tissue was found lacking directional dependency, which could be explained by the isotropic microstructure observed after staining and imaging. Furthermore, finite element analysis (FEA) of the PSHPB tests revealed the stress profile inside liver tissue and served as a validation of PSHPB methodology. The present findings can assist in the development of more accurate computational models of liver tissue at high-rate impact conditions allowing for understanding of subfailure and failure mechanisms.