Effects of nerve bundle geometry on neurotrauma evaluation
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Cinelli, Ilaria, Destrade, Michel, McHugh, Peter, & Duffy, Maeve. (2018). Effects of nerve bundle geometry on neurotrauma evaluation. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, 34(9), e3118. doi: 10.1002/cnm.3118
ObjectiveWe confirm that alteration of a neuron structure can induce abnormalities in signal propagation for nervous systems, as observed in brain damage. Here, we investigate the effects of geometrical changes and damage of a neuron structure in 2 scaled nerve bundle models, made of myelinated nerve fibers or unmyelinated nerve fibers.MethodsWe propose a 3D finite element model of nerve bundles, combining a real-time full electromechanical coupling, a modulated threshold for spiking activation, and independent alteration of the electrical properties for each fiber. With the inclusion of plasticity, we then simulate mechanical compression and tension to induce damage at the membrane of a nerve bundle made of 4 fibers. We examine the resulting changes in strain and neural activity by considering in turn the cases of intact and traumatized nerve membranes.ResultsOur results show lower strain and lower electrophysiological impairments in unmyelinated fibers than in myelinated fibers, higher deformation levels in larger bundles, and higher electrophysiological impairments in smaller bundles.ConclusionWe conclude that the insulation sheath of myelin constricts the membrane deformation and scatters plastic strains within the bundle, that larger bundles deform more than small bundles, and that small fibers tolerate a higher level of elongation before mechanical failure.