Our brain is one of the most vulnerable part of the body, but it has taken experts a bit of time to provide affordable, life-saving protection for the powerful organ. That will change now that a biodesign modeled after a hedgehog is being developed to give our brain and our head the best protection.
Hedgehogs are known to fall off from a 30-foot tree, sometimes intentionally, without breaking anything in their body at all.
How can that remarkable feat be possible when they aren't even gliding down like flying squirrels do?
What happens is that hedgehog curls up and rolls in a ball as it falls. The hedgehog 'quills' or spines protect the creature's body and absorb the impact of the fall.
Hedgemon, a company that designs hedgehog-inspired helmets operates in the biomimicry field which takes biological aspects and processes as a model of design and structure on products.
Just like the recent biomimicry product which also aims to protect the brain from concussion and head impact injuries by pressurization
, Hedgemon's take is on preventing the rotational movement of the brain during impact.
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A prototype of the hedgehog-inspired material. (Photo by Inverse.com)[/caption]
“Most hits are not perfectly straight. You get those off-kilter hits that cause twisting or rotational movement,” explained Nathan Swift, chief operating officer at Hedgemon.
Hedgemon aims to improve general impact absorbency and multi-hit durability.
“The other part has to do with layout: the hedgehog has about 7,000 spines. That’s not just strength in numbers, but the spines also overlap and interact with each other,” Swift added.
“The NFL has a gigantic problem right now. The concussion rate is through the roof, and we’re continuously seeing the detrimental long-term effects on retired players.” - Nathan Swift, COO at Hedgemon.
“It helps alleviate a lot of the force, but also strengthens the material and helps with absorption in that way."
The company only plans to create the middle helmet layer that mimics the hedgehog spines.
“We’re not planning to make a full helmet, we’re just making the liner,” Swift added.
See: New ‘Collar’ Keeps Brain From Jiggling and Lowers Risk of Head Impact Injuries!