Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New sensor system detects early signs of concussion in real time

Date:
May 1, 2014
Source:
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Summary:
A wireless health-monitoring system that detects early signs of traumatic brain injury by continuously monitoring various brain and neural functions has been developed by engineers. "Wearable nanosensor systems can detect the severity of head injury by quantifying force of impact, be it light or violent," said an expert involved in the study. "In real time, our system continuously monitors neural activity and recognizes the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury, such as drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, sensitivity to light and anxiety."

Concussions have become a serious, long-term health risk for football players. New sensor technology could allow a physician to better monitor the early physiological signs of concussions.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Imagine a physician, sitting in a stadium press box, equipped with technology that makes it possible to continuously monitor each player's physiological signs that indicate concussion.

Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have developed a wireless health-monitoring system that does exactly that. The system includes a dry, textile-based nanosensor and accompanying network that detects early signs of traumatic brain injury by continuously monitoring various brain and neural functions.

"Wearable nanosensor systems can detect the severity of head injury by quantifying force of impact, be it light or violent," said Vijay Varadan, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering. "In real time, our system continuously monitors neural activity and recognizes the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury, such as drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, sensitivity to light and anxiety."

The system is a network of flexible sensors woven or printed into a skullcap worn under a helmet. The sensors are built with carbon nanotubes and two- and three-dimensional, textile nanostructures grown at the University of Arkansas. The system uses Zigbee/Bluetooth wireless telemetry to transmit data from the sensors to a receiver, which then transmits the data via a wireless network to a remote server or monitor, such as a computer or a smartphone. A more powerful wide-area wireless network would allow the system to detect large quantities of data taken continuously from each player on the field and transmit the data to multiple locations -- a press box, ambulance and hospital, for example.

The sensors have considerable power and capability to monitor sensitive neural and physiological activity, Varadan said. Under stress due to impact, the sensor chips are sturdier than printed circuit-board chips and can withstand high temperatures and moisture.

The system includes a pressure-sensitive textile sensor embedded underneath the helmet's outer shell. This sensor measures intensity, direction and location of impact force. The other sensors work as an integrated network within the skullcap. These include a printable and flexible gyroscope that measures rotational motion of the head and body balance and a printable and flexible 3-D accelerometer that measures lateral head motion and body balance.

The cap also includes a collection of textile-based, dry sensors that measure electrical activity in the brain, including signs that indicate the onset of mild traumatic brain injury. These sensors detect loss of consciousness, drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, anxiety and sensitivity to light. Finally, the skullcap includes a sensor to detect pulse rate and blood oxygen level.

A modified sensor can evaluate damage to nerve tissue due to force impact. This sensor records electrical signals that work together to construct a spatiotemporal image of active regions of the brain. Varadan said these low-resolution images can substitute for conventional neuro-imaging technology, such as MRI and computerized tomography (CT scan).

Varadan and researchers in his laboratory have tested the system on a small scale for real-time application. The researchers plan to test the system during an actual game this fall.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "New sensor system detects early signs of concussion in real time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501101008.htm>.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. (2014, May 1). New sensor system detects early signs of concussion in real time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501101008.htm
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "New sensor system detects early signs of concussion in real time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501101008.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins