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Department Sports Equipment & Technology


Real-time Monitoring System for assessment of brain injuries as a result of Impactsituations

Statistics of accidents in sports and everyday life shows that impact situations against the head lead to numerous injuries and cases of death. The tragedy in many cases is that often the inner, not visible brain injuries remain undiagnosed and this circumstances lead to complications. Numerous serious injuries could be avoided if there would be a reliable possibility to assess damage to the brain after accidents directly at the place of accidents. Comparable complications can result in other sports (foot- or handball), when falling in everyday life (bicycle accidents of adults and kids, balance problems for elder people etc.) and at the workplace (construction, assembly operations). The main issue with head injuries of this kind is that even the injured person doesn’t realise the injury immediately and no treatment leads to the named complications. This circumstance leads to the development of different classification systems for severe head trauma. A well-known example is the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) which is used to determine the grade of severity with parameters like ability of speech, motor abilities and eye reaction. To avoid un- or wrong diagnosed brain injuries due to impact situations against the head a miniaturized sensor system is needed which is fixed to the head or headwear/helmet to register, store and analyse strong impacts. The data has to be easy to readout and ideally provide information about severity of the impact and possible injuries that not only can be understood by doctors but also by medical amateurs to allow the best possible way of first aid at place of accident. The research work is divided in two topics throughout the project:

  1. Development of a miniaturised measurement system to assess the severity of impacts
  2. 2. Development of a mechanical test device, especially a specimen for standardised examination of the effects of different conditions on a) the interaction between skull and brain and b) the effects of different kinds of head protection.
In the analysis of the measured data possible injury criteria for example linear and rotational acceleration, HIC, time period of the impact etc. should be derived. The collection and analysis of the data is supposed to deliver valuable information for the comprehension and of cause and effect of impacts against the head.

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