At the forefront of traumatic brain injury prevention

Team Wendy is a global leading manufacturer of head protection systems that also undertakes cutting-edge research to deepen our understanding of the brain and improve traumatic brain injury (TBI) prevention methods. These innovative efforts include the design and adaptation of novel ballistic helmet liner materials with the understanding of how they can be optimised to limit trauma.

In 2017, Team Wendy joined the prestigious PANTHER program – a partnership between several groups that is funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) – with the goal of quantifying cellular injury thresholds for TBI. Furthermore, it aims to optimise helmet testing and design methodologies around those thresholds. The exact causes of brain injury are still unknown, and there is no firm cellular injury threshold established for TBI cause or prediction.

Phase one of PANTHER concluded in FY21, and Team Wendy engineers led experiment execution. Research findings were featured at the 2019 Military Health System Research Symposium and a paper published in Military Medicine in September 2021. The paper provides a scientific basis for combat helmet test requirements to include rotational impact tests to account for cellular injury thresholds. The additional data would improve the test’s conception of TBI caused by severe head impacts.

The PANTHER program continues to investigate what brain cells can withstand and further refine testing models to improve protection standards. ONR has approved continued funding for PANTHER through 2024. Team Wendy will use data from the program and independent testing to better understand how cellular injury originates and, armed with this knowledge, ultimately hopes to develop new materials and helmet designs with unprecedented impact protection.

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