October 26, 2023 at 6:11 pmKyle VillalobosSubscriber
I just downloaded ANSYS onto my computer, how should I proceed next? I see two ANSYS apps, ANSYS PrePost and ANSYS Powershell. I want to start creating a model of the brain. The end goal of my project is to develop a simulation using ANSYS LS DYNA that can recreate concussions and predict how the brain moves inside the skull given an applied force (analogous to a vector?)
It's probably worth noting that I'm 16 y/o but have some basic College/General Physics understanding under my belt and am currently taking Multivariable Calculus-- not sure how much experience is relevant to using ANSYS/my project.
October 27, 2023 at 2:58 pmPeter YipSubscriber
While I'm not an ANSYS representative, I am happy to read that someone of your age is interested in such a challenging topic and wanted to provide some insight.
Before attempting any simulation, there's quite a simple first step... read! Read a LOT of papers on the subject. I can point you to a few papers from my past colleagues that have done exactly what you are setting out to do. These papers can be quite challenging to go through with only a general physics understanding at the moment, but don't be deterred! There is great reward for those that persevere to understand this topic! I am sure with time and comittment it will be no problem for you to understand. From these papers, you can look at their references and find yourself down a "rabbit hole" and have a LOT of material to read.
In parallel, you can start simple with tutorials you find on the web. That way, you will get acclimated to the tool and not bogged down in the workflow of the tool. Remember, that LS-DYNA is just a tool and it is only as good as the information you put into it.
Next, raise the complexity slowly by finding a paper that is simple enough to model, but is in the right direction of the end model you want to create. By finding a paper that is simple (but somewhat similar to the end model) AND with results, you can see if you can replicate the same results. Then, as you get more and more comfortable with what is happening you can attempt to start expanding this model to what you want. It should be viewed as an iterative process and build complexity slowly to ensure the model is performing as expected each time. Which leads me to one of my last points... before you open your results, you should have performed some calculations or have some intuition of what you expect the solution to look like prior. Simulations solve equations, but it is the user that must have the insight to know what is correct or not.
I know this is quite a long, drawn out process, but this is the modeling process. It gets faster the more you learn about the subject. I'm sure there are other nuances I am forgetting that other modelers in this forum can add, but I think in general, all modelers follow a similar path.
Best of luck,
Here are some papers:
 Kshitiz Upadhyay, Ahmed Alshareef, Andrew K. Knutsen, Curtis L. Johnson, Aaron Carass, Philip V. Bayly, Dzung L. Pham, Jerry L. Prince and K. T. Ramesh, Development and validation of subject- specific 3D human head models based on a nonlinear visco-hyperelastic constitutive framework, 2022
 T. Wu, J.S. Giudice, A. Alshareef, M.B. Panzer, Chapter 7 - Modeling mesoscale anatomical structures in macroscale brain finite element models, Multiscale Biomechanical Modeling of the Brain, Pages 103-118, 2022,
 Ahmed Alshareef, J Sebastian Giudice, Jason Forman, Daniel F Shedd, Kristen A Reynier, Taotao Wu, Sara Sochor, Mark R Sochor, Robert S Salzar, Matthew B Panzer, Biomechanics of the human brain during dynamic rotation of the head, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1089/neu.2019.6847
October 27, 2023 at 4:17 pmKyle VillalobosSubscriber
Thank you, sincerely, for your response. The modeling process seems very intensive, but I have a true passion for my work and truly believe it will help many people.
Though I have already read and analyzed several papers in the field of computational neuroscience, the ones you provided are far more specific; I'll be sure to go through all of those thoroughly. Tutorials on the web will also be very helpful for learning the ins-and-outs of LS DYNA.
Regarding your last point, I will definitely have some form of mathematical intuition to predict what I should expect from my model. I am working with a mathematics professor at the Wilkes Honors College - Florida Atlantic University to develop a series of differential equations to supplement the model. Essentially, once I have a rough-sketch of the model created, one developed to the point where I can apply force to it and manipulate such, I plan to explain these results using a series of self-developed equations. My hope is to have the equations and model complement each other: the equations/formulas, specific to the dynamics of the brain's fluid movement inside the skull, can receive inputs that differ from injury to injury (mass of the individual, force that they received in their injury, angle/mechanism of impact, etc.) and provide a relatively reliable net output detailing the brain's total movement. The model can then be implemented to visualize these results, also being input-specific.
Of course, as you mentioned, I need to have a model-base to form a sense of intuition with, so I will get the model to a point where it is deemed appropriate by my research mentor to start 'equationifying' my predictions/results.
Once again, I thank you for your reply. It's helpful to know that thers have gone through the same process and that there's help to be found!
October 27, 2023 at 6:26 pmPeter YipSubscriber
Great to hear that you're on the right path and, on top of that, working with a professor to help guide your research. The only thing that pains me is that you are working with FAU. I graduated from UCF many moons ago, so I may have some bias as to what school runs Florida?
You are on a much brighter path than I when I was 16. Don't forget to have fun with the research!
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