Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Lyndia Wu has co-authored a paper in the Journal of Biomechanics, “Analysis of head acceleration events in collegiate-level American football: A combination of qualitative video analysis and in-vivo head kinematic measurement.” Building off previous work she was involved in at Stanford University, the study looks at head impacts in football, combining impact measurements from a unique mouthguard containing accelerometers and gyroscopes with video capture of the impact event. By correlating the two, the researchers could see what kinds of impacts were causing specific head accelerations. Significantly, they found that that the forces on the head involved in direct helmet impacts were equal to the “inertial head loading” sustained through regular activities like blocking or tackling that would otherwise not have been considered as a significant contributors to brain injury. With the growing understanding of the role accumulated sub-concussive impacts play in brain injury, this study provides insight into under-recognized activities that may affect players’ brain health in American football. Co-authors include Gregory J.Tierney (University of Leeds), Calvin Kuo, (School of Biomedical Engineering, UBC), Dan Weaving (Beckett University), David Camarillo (Stanford University).
Read the full publication here.