Center’s Work Will Impact Battlefields, Football Fields and Highways

matt_panzerWhen heads collide, injury happens. Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions and other forms of potentially permanent brain damage, happen daily in car crashes, sporting activities, fights, explosions, falls and other accidents. And while physicians and scientists understand the results of these injuries, less is known about the physiological changes that occur at the moment of impact.

Researchers in the University of Virginia’s Center for Applied Biomechanics – or “The CAB,” as its denizens call it – are looking closely at what happens to the brain under assorted impacts from different angles and intensities, using experimental and computational methods developed and refined over the years from extensive car crash tests and blast simulations.

“We are closely studying the deformation of the human brain under head motions that have been linked to concussion and more severe types of brain injury,” said Matthew Panzer, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering who specializes in developing dynamic computer models of how the brain physically responds to collisions. “We’re developing the tools to reproduce completely the physics of the brain as it’s undergoing deformation from impact.”

Read the whole story ot UVA Today: