This Protective Headgear Helps Detect and Prevent Head Trauma

By: Katherine Pendrill - Aug 20, 2015
References: acs.org & psfk
A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recently developed a form of protective headgear that can help determine whether an athlete has suffered head trauma. For many professional athletes, head injuries are a very real concern. Unfortunately, brain injuries can often go undetected and untreated if the person does not display any obvious symptoms.

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania are making it easier to detect head injuries by outfitting athletes with a special kind of protective headgear. The specially designed helmets are coated in a polymer that changes color when injuries occur. The polymer is made up of a series of photonic crystals that change structure when force is applied. The change in structure ultimately causes the deformed crystals to change color. By providing a visual indication of trauma, the color-changing helmets ensure early detection of head trauma.