The use of biomedical engineering and biomechanics enables the Minds Matter research team to study how the human body reacts to forces that can cause concussions. Specifically, in the Head Impact Sensor line of research, the team conducts biomedical engineering research to understand how biomechanical loads and impact exposures lead to injuries and deficits in human physiological function. This research has led a focus on evaluating the accuracy of the head impact sensors used in sports and will provide design implications for future sensors.
Head Impact Sensor Research
Minds Matter researchers are deploying head impact sensors to quantify biomechanical load exposure by sport and sex, and relationships between load exposure and neuro-functional metrics. Integrated with other research aims and methods, research using head impact sensors will provide new knowledge regarding high-risk biomechanical settings for the young brain. Read more about this line of research.
NFL Engineering Roadmap
Through its Co-Director Kristy Arbogast, PhD, Minds Matter plays a leadership role in the NFL’s Engineering Roadmap-- helping to set and oversee the implementation of this initiative’s research plan. In 2016, the League pledged $60 million over the next five years to improve the understanding of injury prevention in professional football and to create incentives for small businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and helmet manufacturers to develop new protective equipment. The primary purpose of the Engineering Roadmap is to stimulate innovation in a very open and transparent way to improve the safety of the game. This body of work will provided needed understanding, at a very detailed mechanical level, of the scenarios in which injuries are happening and provide the data to direct the development of evidence-based innovations.
- The Biomechanics of Concussive Helmet-to-Ground Impacts in the National Football League -- This study provides a detailed characterization of the biomechanics of helmet-to-ground impacts leading to concussions in the National Football League including video analysis of on-field injuries and recreation of impact conditions using a helmeted anthropomorphic test device. Journal of Biomechanics. 2020.
- Video Analysis of Reported Concussion Events in the National Football League During the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Seasons -- Detailed video of concussions sustained in the NFL during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons were reviewed to gain insight on injury causation, the outcome of rule changes and guidance on future injury prevention strategies. This review highlighted the importance of helmet to ground and helmet to body of the opposing player as causation scenarios in addition to the commonly studied helmet-to-helmet. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2018.