Virginia Tech biomedical program receives 2 of Toyota's research safety projects

December 06, 2011

Of four new research projects announced today (Dec. 6) by Toyota's Collaborative Safety Research Center, two include the Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. And just a few days ago, the Brain Trauma Foundation honored the Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University biomedical program with its 2011 Brain Trauma Foundation Award. Toyota funded some of the research that led to this award.

"We are confident our research advancements will help reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries in both automobile impacts as well as on the football field," said Stefan Duma, professor and head of the biomedical engineering program for Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University. "We are grateful to Toyota for its support of this important, lifesaving research and to the Brain Trauma Foundation for its recognition."

Toyota launched its research safety center in January 2011 with an initial investment of $50 million. This center pursues automotive safety research through a collaborative model that prioritizes sharing Toyota's talent and technology with a broad range of institutions, and Virginia Tech's biomedical program continues to receive significant support.

At Virginia Tech, one of the new Toyota projects will focus on abdominal injuries. Duma said this study will look at the relationship between age and abdominal injuries caused by automobile crashes in the United States, to determine if a specific population, such as senior drivers, is more vulnerable to abdominal injuries during these events.

The second project involving Virginia Tech is a partnership with George Washington University. Duma explained the project will upgrade a frontal impact test dummy, initially developed by the National Highway Safety Transportation Safety Administration, that allows automotive manufacturers an advanced tool to assess the injury risk of drivers and passengers in vehicles using crash tests. The dummy, named THOR, may lead to new technologies for the design of vehicles and their restraint systems.

Virginia Tech's biomedical program has a history of work in crash mechanics. Over the past three years, the U.S. Army awarded Duma and his colleagues Warren Hardy and Clay Gabler, also biomedical engineering faculty members, over $10 million in research awards to study the biomechanics of head, neck, and chest injury.

In 2008, a group of nine international car manufacturers and suppliers awarded $4.9 million to the Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Science's Center for Injury Biomechanics, to conduct a study to produce a better understanding of what happens to individuals subjected to body trauma.

"Today's announcements cap a successful first year for Toyota's Collaborate Safety Research Center and our efforts to act as a catalyst for the advancement of automotive safety for the entire industry. We look forward to further expanding our talent-sharing research model and helping advance the development of safety technologies that can benefit all of society," said Chuck Gulash, senior executive engineer at the Toyota Technical Center and the safety research center director.

Of the remaining two projects, one is with the University of Iowa to study driver behavior related to foot placement. The hope is to better quantify and predict driver-vehicle interactions to aid in the development of vehicle-based enhancements. The second one collaborates with the University of Virginia to study of the capabilities of Toyota's THUMS modeling system in capturing the effects of complex automobile crash scenarios at the "whole body" level.

Crash modeling technologies help researchers analyze millions of data points to better understand the mechanisms that cause injuries in car crashes, which helps inform the development of new safety technologies for airbags, seatbelt systems and vehicle body structures.

Since the CSRC was first launched, Toyota has announced 17 research projects with 12 institutions. In keeping with its open model, the safety center intends to publish as much of this research as possible to make it available to federal agencies, the industry and academia.
-end-


Virginia Tech

Related Biomedical Engineering Articles from Brightsurf:

Applying machine learning to biomedical science
Dr Pengyi Yang and colleagues from the University of Sydney have brought together the latest developments in applications of machine learning in biomedical science, showing that new techniques are combining ensemble methods with deep learning, with potential applications in cancer research and better understanding viruses.

Hydrogel paves way for biomedical breakthrough
Dubbed the ''invisibility cloak'', engineers at the University of Sydney have developed a hydrogel that allows implants and transplants to better and more safetly interact with surrounding tissue.

Biomedical instrument based on microvesicles
Researchers have proved that a microvesicle-based instrument can be effective in reducing inflammation and immune response.

Biomedical researchers get closer to why eczema happens
A new study from researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York may help to peel back the layers of unhealthy skin -- at least metaphorically speaking -- and get closer to a cure.

Artificial intelligence improves biomedical imaging
ETH researchers use artificial intelligence to improve quality of images recorded by a relatively new biomedical imaging method.

Transparency and reproducibility of biomedical research is improving
New research publishing Nov. 20 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology from Joshua Wallach, Kevin Boyack, and John Ioannidis suggests that progress has been made in key areas of research transparency and reproducibility.

A pill for delivering biomedical micromotors
Using tiny micromotors to diagnose and treat disease in the human body could soon be a reality.

Accounting for sex differences in biomedical research
When it comes to health, a person's sex can play a role.

Biomedical Engineering hosts national conference on STEM education for underserved students
The University of Akron hosts a national conference aimed at ensuring underserved students have access to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Boosting the lifetime and effectiveness of biomedical devices
A research team led by the University of Delaware's David Martin has discovered a new approach to boosting the lifetime and effectiveness of electronic biomedical devices.

Read More: Biomedical Engineering News and Biomedical Engineering Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.