Recent advances in the treatment of penetrating gunshot wounds to the head have saved lives. These advances are largely reported using retrospective analysis of patients with recommendations for treatment. Biomechanical quantification of intracranial deformation/stress distribution associated with the type of weapon (e.g., projectile geometry) will advance clinical understanding of the mechanics of penetrating wounds. The present study was designed to delineate the biomechanical behavior of the human head under penetrating impact of two different projectile geometries using a nonlinear, three-dimensional finite element model. The human head model included the skull and brain. The qualitative comparison of the model output with each type of projectile during various time steps indicates that the deformation/stress progresses as the projectile penetrates the tissue. There is also a distinct difference in the patterns of displacement for each type of projectile. The present study is a first step in the study of the biomechanics of penetrating traumatic brain injuries.

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