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Wake Forest plays integral role in effort to revolutionize vehicle safety
Date:10/21/2008

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. From stiff plastic limbs and metal rods to complex virtual humans made of muscle, tendon and bone, the crash test dummies of yesteryear are evolving and researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine are among those bringing them to life.

This new generation of human body models will represent live humans with precision and detail not known in research "dummies" before. The models will contain detailed representation of the bones and soft tissues of the human body, with special attention to those parts that are frequently injured in vehicle collisions. They are expected to provide researchers with crucial knowledge needed to better predict the effect of different degrees of force and locations of impact on the body during an automobile crash than they have been able to do with traditional crash test dummies.

Wake Forest researchers have been selected to form the integration center by the Global Human Body Models Consortium (GHMBC), which started out as a group of nine car manufacturers and two automotive system suppliers formed in 2006 with the charge to create the world's most detailed computer models of the human body in an effort to make automobiles the safest they can be for drivers and their passengers according to their specific height, weight, size, shape and age.

Since its creation, the GHBMC has selected six university and research teams from across the world to collaborate on the project as designated Centers of Expertise (COE). The COEs include five body region centers, which will concentrate on models of specific regions of the body. The centers and their assignments are:

  • Wayne State University (Michigan) head and brain
  • University of Waterloo (Canada) neck
  • University of Virginia, Center European and Analysis Safety Studies (CEESAR, in France), and the University of Waterloo thorax and upper extremities
  • The French National Institute for Transportation and Safety
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Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wfubmc.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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