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Student’s Invention Could Prevent Concussions

Onano Smart Foam BYU Mechanical Engineering Masters student Jake Merrell demonstrates a smart foam he created called XOnano that can detect force. He is testing the foam in the padding of a football helmet with hopes that it can aid football teams in preventing the long term effects of concussions. October 30, 2013 Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU © BYU PHOTO 2013 All Rights Reserved  (801)422-7322[/youtube]

Combining nanotechnology with foam, Brigham Young University engineering student Jake Merrell has created a “smart foam” that could be place inside the helmets of football players to measure the impact of hits to the head, according to the BYU news release. When the foam compresses, it transmits electrical signals wirelessly to a tablet or computer, and could help prevent concussions and head injuries while players are in the game.

In America, football is the sport with the highest concussion risk, the article states. Merrell’s working prototype was among the top three at BYU’s Student Innovator of the Year competition. According to Mashable, Merrell will submit his invention to the Head Health Challenge, an innovation contest sponsored by the NFL that will award up to $10 million for new products that can help protect football players’ brains and track collision impacts in real time.

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