Preventing Concussions and TBI
Our core mission in the memorial of Wendy Moore is to understand the causes and mechanisms of Traumatic Brain Injury in an effort to establish methods of prevention. There are several Team Wendy initiatives working towards this ultimate goal.
Improved military helmet liner
We are transitioning successful basic research on compressible polymer structures into fully functional, TRL 6 helmet systems, through a $650,000 Army contract award. As part of the HEaDS UP ATO (Helmet Electronics and Display System, Upgradeable Protection – Army Technology Objective) at Natick Soldier RD&E Center, we are developing an integrated liner system that provides increased blunt impact protection, blast wave attenuation, comfort, and stability all in a breathable, lightweight new design.
Understanding the mechanisms of concussion or mild TBI, and using the findings to improve helmet design
It is increasingly clear that concussion or mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) can lead to significant, life-long impairment affecting an individual’s ability to function physically, cognitively, and psychologically. The number of injuries occurring is astonishing – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually in the United States, 75 percent of which are concussions or other forms of mTBI.
We believe that through studying the response of the brain itself, especially during complex rotational events rather than the simple linear motion traditionally used in helmet testing, we can uncover the keys to improving a helmet’s ability to mitigate concussion.In collaboration with Brown University and the Franck Lab for Experimental Micro Mechanics, we are working to relate how a helmet responds to impact all the way down to the events occurring at a neuronal level. This program will enable the design of a new generation of helmets that protect against mTBI as well as severe head injuries.