Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Liao, Jun

Committee Member

Butler, James Ryan

Committee Member

Williams, Lakiesha N.

Committee Member

Horstemeyer, Mark F.

Committee Member

Prabhu, Rajkumar

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Biomedical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Explosives have become increasingly common on the battlefield worldwide. Military personnel and civilians often experience blast loading to the lower extremity due to its direct contact with the ground and floor of vehicles. The pressure and axial loading from these incidents often lead to detrimental injuries. These injuries can be due to a number of mechanisms terming them primary, secondary, tertiary, or quaternary blast injuries. Of these injuries, this study will focus on primary and tertiary injuries, specifically bone fractures, compartment syndrome, and soft tissue disruption which often result from blast loading due to these mechanisms. However, the pressure and load levels causing these injuries are unknown. Currently, the methodologies, which study the injury criteria and design of blast mitigating structures, are limited. The main limitations are the lower rates of testing (automobile), specimen limitation (cadavers, surrogates, etc.), cost, and testing repeatability. Consequently, the goal of this dissertation is to develop a realistic computational model which can be used to improve the injury criteria, personal protective equipment (PPE), and vehicular structure in a cost effective and timely manner. Three Aims were thus pursued. For Specific Aim 1, a standing lower extremity was developed, verified, and simulated with several open-air blast loading conditions. Specific Aim 2 focused on validating the lower extremity model using experimental drop tower test results. In the drop tower simulation, the lower extremity model was successfully converted into a seated posture model and setup with similar loading and boundary conditions as the experiment. Specific Aim 3 involved incorporating a boot into the standing lower extremity model and evaluating its ability to mitigate pressure waves. In summary, Specific Aims 1 and 2 developed, verified, and validated a realistic human lower extremity model for the use in blast simulations. Specific Aim 3 further confirmed the models use in developing PPE.