Smart Fabric to Reduce Traumatic Brain Injuries

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Medical

A hooded compression garment that reduces the incidence of traumatic brain injuries and concussions for military members, law enforcement officers, athletes, and adventurists. Our patent pending technology employs advanced (or “smart”) fabrics to provide impact-initiated protection against head accelerations and velocities in 360-degrees while allowing near-complete freedom of movement during normal activity.

Standard head protection focuses on mitigating the effects of impacts and linear accelerations. However, “conventional wisdom [is] that shear deformation caused by rotational acceleration is the predominant mechanism of injury in concussion” (Meaney and Smith, 2011). This is because the brain is 100,000-1,000,000 times less resistant to this type of movement. By reducing rotational accelerations of the head, the technology provides protection to the most vulnerable aspects of the brain, providing game-changing potential in the fight against TBI.

The product mitigates concussions by reducing both the linear and rotational accelerations and velocities of the head (principally the rotational acceleration). By reducing these accelerations and velocities, produces aims to lessen the pressure and shear stress (linear and rotational movements, respectively) on the brain.

The garment uses advanced fabrics (smart fabrics, advanced materials, or smart materials) that respond to mechanical stimuli (specifically an applied mechanical stress) to reduce the aforementioned head movements. The advanced fabric permits nearly complete freedom of movement during normal activity accelerations and velocities; however, above a critical threshold of head acceleration and/or velocities, the fabric changes to reduce head movement. The fabric reduces the head movement by either absorbing/dissipating energy within the fabric system and/or transferring energy to another part of the body.

The base fabric is a combination of technical fabrics and advanced fluids (fabrics impregnated with advanced fluids). Upon an impact event, the movement of the head (as caused by direct impact to the head or differential movement of the head and body as caused by inertia from indirect impact) imposes a force on the hooded garment. The force causes tensile or compressive stresses (this is dependent on location within the hood with respect to the movement of the head) in the impregnated fabric. The stresses are imparted rapidly thereby leading to high strain rates on both the fabric threads and the shear thickening fluid. Strain rates above a critical level will result in stiffening of the fabric thereby reducing head velocities and accelerations and transferring energy into the fabric and other parts of the body.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Matthew Sloane
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Patent status:
    pending