Non-Newtonian Materials for the Prevention of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury


Reference #: 01212

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a non-newtonian material for the prevention of mild traumatic brain injury.



Head impacts and concussions caused by contact sports are a growing source of concern around the United States as concussions are a major health problem in both youth and professional sports. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the amount of reported concussions has doubled in the last 10 years. In 39% of the cases, cumulative concussions eventually lead to permanent neurologic disability. This problem is not restricted to professional sports, as the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that emergency room visits for concussions in children (8 to 13 years) doubled within the last decade. 47 percent of all reported sports concussions are a result of high school football. One of the ways of minimizing these risks is by using helmets, but as the trend shows, current helmets might not be addressing the problem as well as they should, hence the need for better helmets.


Invention Description:

The subject invention is a new football helmet that includes shock absorbers designed to transfer the helmet's impact to the shoulder pads, thereby protecting the athlete from traumatic brain injury (concussions). The technical design will allow the same level of movement while providing increased protection at the moment of impact.


Potential Applications:

Modern helmets do a good job of preventing skull fractures from to high energy collisions; however, research indicates these devices do not protect against the brain striking the inside of the skull, which causes traumatic brain injuries (concussions). This invention uses force bearing members containing non-Newtonian fluids to link the helmet to the shoulder pads as a strategy to decrease the force from collision so that the brain does not sustain injury.


Advantages and Benefits:

Promotes safety and lowers risk. Lower medical expenses, increase productivity with less susceptibility to dementia.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
David Metts
Robert Gower
George Kemmerlin
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