Functional spine unit development – Literature review


  1. Fournier, E.
  2. Wonnacott, M.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Valcartier Research Centre, Quebec QC (CAN);Biokinetics and Associates Ltd, Ottawa ONT (CAN)
The prevalence of lumbar spine injuries from underbody blast (UBB) has been noted to result in debilitating long terms effects on mounted servicemen and women. The energy absorbing vehicle seats that have been implemented do provide some protection against UBB loading but the level of protection cannot be properly assessed using current test methods. The Hybrid III anthropomorphic test device (ATD) used in experimental blast trials along with the Dynamic Response Index (DRI) injury criteria for assessing lumbar spine injuries are believed to be inadequate for assessing the various modes of dynamic loading and related injury risks. A literature review was conducted to identify the parameters that may affect a surrogate’s ability to assess injury. These include the effect of seating posture and increased inertial loads from additional body borne mass on the loads applied to the lumbar spine during an UBB incident. Biofidelic characterization of the functional spine unit was sought for the development of an improved functional spine unit for assessing spine injury. Of principal concern is an ATD’s ability to be correctly oriented during initial placement and have the required sensing capabilities to monitor for combined loading conditions commensurate with the selected injury assessment reference values.
injury criteria;lumbar spine;underbelly blast;protection;injury models;antropomorphique test devices;dynamic response index;vehicle occupants
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2016-C161 — Contract Report
Date of publication
01 May 2016
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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