Development of a New Instrumented Mouthpiece for Directly Measuring Head Acceleration in Football


Instrumented mouthpieces (IM) are devices that allow the measurement of head impacts that occur in sports. However, existing IMs have flaws -- such devices measure angular velocity and differentiate the measurement to calculate angular acceleration, which can limit bandwidth and consume more power. This study, which involves PISC Senior Scholar Kristy Arbogast, PhD, developed and tested a new IM for head impacts in American football that uses new, low-power accelerometers for direct measurement. After assessing the new IM using two helmeted headforms instrumented with a custom-fit IM and reference sensor instrumentation, the study found that sensor measurements from the IM were highly correlated with those from the reference instrumentation located at the maxilla and skull center of gravity. As such, these results hold promise for the future development of more efficient and accurate injury tracking devices for athletes.


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