Paul Christopher Ivancic PhD
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Human injury biomechanics; Spine biomechanics; Whiplash; Neck injury prevention; Injury mechanisms and tolerance; Injury prevention; Orthopaedic implant design; Spine biomechanics
Our main project involves understanding the neck injury mechanisms during whiplash. We have developed a novel method to produce, and study in great detail, the soft tissue neck injuries during simulated whiplash. Our bench-top model, using fresh cadaveric spine specimens and a mini-sled, provides a direct approach to producing and studying spinal injuries, as compared to past studies using whole cadavers and large sleds. Dynamic spinal curvature, ligament strains, spinal canal and intervertebral foramen narrowing, vertebral artery elongation, intervertebral rotations, and spinal loads are quantified during each impact as functions of time and are used to determine potential injuries to the neck ligaments, neural tissue and vertebral artery. Three-plane flexibility testing is performed before and after each impact to identify, quantify, and determine the mode of multiplanar soft tissue injury due to the impacts, and to quantify the injury threshold acceleration. My future research will focus on understanding neck injury prevention during automobile collisions. Using previously developed methodology, dynamic spinal curvature, ligament strains, spinal canal and intervertebral foramen narrowing, vertebral artery elongation, intervertebral rotations, and spinal loads will be quantified during each impact as functions of time and will be used to determine potential injuries to the neck, neural tissue and vertebral artery. Pre- and post-impact flexibility tests will document mechanical spinal instability. Cervical spine injury criteria, including IV-NIC, NDC, NIC, Nij, and Nkm will be computed and compared.