PANTHER research collaboration founded by former Brown professor receives $10 million federal grant

PANTHER research collaboration founded by former Brown professor receives $10 million federal grant

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Information, Science & Analysis

PANTHER analysis collaboration based by means of former Brown professor receives $10 million federal grant

Multi-institutional collaboration targets to grasp, stumble on, save you tense mind damage

One in every of PANTHER’s targets is to create higher, extra protecting liners for helmets via growing real-time intervention era.

PANTHER, a multi-institutional analysis collaboration, lately won a $10 million federal grant from the Administrative center of Naval Analysis inside the U.S. Division of the Military. 

The objective of PANTHER is to grasp, stumble on and save you tense mind accidents. Attaining those 3 overarching targets calls for mavens from quite a few fields to paintings as a staff. 

Christian Franck, affiliate professor of engineering at College of Wisconsin-Madison, introduced the PANTHER venture in 2017 when he was once a professor at Brown. “I used to be in reality curious in figuring out the mind’s reaction to affect and mechanical insults that result in damage,” he stated. 

In 2010, Franck described himself as a mechanical engineer “ on this interaction between mechanical forces performing on biology.” He and a couple of colleagues “had commonplace pursuits and an way about the right way to take into accounts this factor, however (they) wanted sources,” he stated. 

Diane Hoffman-Kim, affiliate professor of scientific science and engineering and PANTHER’s present neural tissue lead, labored at the collaboration in its early years. “Franck and I labored in combination on a shoestring price range, and in the future (he) stated, ‘I’m filing this grant, do you need to be part of this?’ I had by no means dreamed that it will turn out to be one of these huge and nice collaboration,” Hoffman-Kim stated. “It’s been glorious.”

Franck works nearly from Wisconsin-Madison with Hoffman-Kim, Assistant Professor of Engineering Haneesh Kesari and Affiliate Professor of Forged Mechanics David Henann at Brown. 

“It’s a in reality giant staff, and there’s numerous experience,” Henann stated. The analysis focal point of those collaborators “spans from the outdoor of the helmet the entire means all the way down to the neurons within the mind.” 

Kesari, present kinematic research lead of PANTHER, works on growing real-time intervention era that may make stronger the mind so accidents will also be known. 

Very similar to how an accelerometer in vehicles can stumble on a crash, inflicting an airbag to deploy, the PANTHER staff has succeeded in simulating head movement and the use of accelerometers to sense when it falls. They hope to capitalize in this era to doubtlessly create a helmet that will have the ability to sense when any individual falls and “(deploy) some form of coverage so the damage is decreased,” Kesari stated. 

This novel use of era is one in every of a couple of finish targets the PANTHER collaboration has for the longer term. “The most obvious objective is to make higher, extra protecting liners for helmets. From an educational point of view, we’re aiming to be informed much more about how mind damage happens and the way we may be able to save you it,” Hoffman-Kim stated.

The $10 million grant that PANTHER won in December will make stronger collaboration in opposition to attaining those targets. “That cash permits us not to fear about repeatedly getting investment, and as an alternative permits us to concentrate on the real drawback to hand,” Franck stated. 

The multi-institutional nature of the PANTHER collaboration additionally ready the staff for adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Earlier than the pandemic, we had a every year or biannual retreat so shall we see every different in particular person,” Hoffman-Kim stated. “However we’ve been having faraway conferences with everybody (within the PANTHER collaboration) across the nation for the previous few years, so (faraway conferences) really feel very acquainted.” 

Spotting the interdisciplinary personality of the staff, Franck stated, “While you’re running on difficult issues, variety is the most efficient factor you’ll be able to have.”