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Validation and Comparison of Instrumented Mouthguards for Measuring Head Kinematics and Assessing Brain Deformation in Football Impacts

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Document pages: 50 pages

Abstract: Because of the relatively rigid coupling between the upper dentition and theskull, instrumented mouthguards have been shown to be a viable way of measuringhead impact kinematics for assisting in understanding the underlyingbiomechanics of concussions. This has led various companies and institutions tofurther develop instrumented mouthguards. However, their use as a research toolfor understanding concussive impacts makes quantification of their accuracycritical, especially given the conflicting results from various recent studies.Here we present a study that uses a pneumatic impactor to deliver impactscharacteristic to football to a Hybrid III headform, in order to validate andcompare five of the most commonly used instrumented mouthguards. We found thatall tested mouthguards gave accurate measurements for the peak angularacceleration (mean relative error, MRE < 13 ), the peak angular velocity (MRE <8 ), brain injury criteria values (MRE < 13 ) and brain deformation (describedas maximum principal strain and fiber strain, calculated by a convolutionalneural network based brain model, MRE < 9 ). Finally, we found that theaccuracy of the measurement varies with the impact locations yet is notsensitive to the impact velocity for the most part.

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