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Ann Biomed Eng. 2013 Sep;41(9):1939-49. doi: 10.1007/s10439-013-0801-y. Epub 2013 Apr 19.

An instrumented mouthguard for measuring linear and angular head impact kinematics in American football.

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Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate a novel instrumented mouthguard as a research device for measuring head impact kinematics. To evaluate kinematic accuracy, laboratory impact testing was performed at sites on the helmet and facemask for determining how closely instrumented mouthguard data matched data from an anthropomorphic test device. Laboratory testing results showed that peak linear acceleration (r (2) = 0.96), peak angular acceleration (r (2) = 0.89), and peak angular velocity (r (2) = 0.98) measurements were highly correlated between the instrumented mouthguard and anthropomorphic test device. Normalized root-mean-square errors for impact time traces were 9.9 ± 4.4% for linear acceleration, 9.7 ± 7.0% for angular acceleration, and 10.4 ± 9.9% for angular velocity. This study demonstrates the potential of an instrumented mouthguard as a research tool for measuring in vivo impacts, which could help uncover the link between head impact kinematics and brain injury in American football.

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