Volume XII / 2023
The University of Texas at Arlington | College of Engineering
Preventing Brain Injuries Graphic of Ashfaq Adnan's lab featuring the following:
                Polymer Test - A building block of 3D-printed lighter yet still protective polymers is used to test protective capabilities against heavy impact force.
                Brain Signal Sensors - Advanced comfortable contact probes for wearable EEG systems are designed for effective contact between the scalp and EEG sensors. The probes are critical for accurately sensing brain signals. 
                Neuron Cell Pack - A motion sensor-clad neuron cell pack is used to understand the injury risk to live neuron cells due to high-speed impact.             
                Helmet Test - Impact testing is conducted on a phantom head with a smart helmet, which is designed with advanced 3D-printed materials and connected to EEG-based real-time brain health monitoring sensors. click to expand

Preventing Brain Injuries

The battlefield and the football field are obvious places where head or body trauma might happen. But current technology aimed at preventing or reducing injuries often takes a one-size-fits-all approach.

Brain injuries may occur when traumatic forces such as blasts or helmet-to-helmet collisions impact the head. Primary injuries are quickly apparent, but secondary injuries, which take longer to occur, can result from damage that impedes communication from cell to cell.

Ashfaq Adnan, a Distinguished University Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the Multiscale Mechanics and Physics Lab, has performed extensive research into how traumatic forces actually affect brain tissue. He and his team use a variety of equipment, including high-speed cameras and phantom heads that mimic actual human heads, to apply their findings to the development of smart sensing elements for protective equipment in a dynamic environment. They also experiment with 3D-printed advanced materials for smart protection against impact and directed energies.