Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 1939–1949 | Cite as

An Instrumented Mouthguard for Measuring Linear and Angular Head Impact Kinematics in American Football

  • David B. CamarilloEmail author
  • Pete B. Shull
  • James Mattson
  • Rebecca Shultz
  • Daniel Garza


The purpose of this study was to evaluate a novel instrumented mouthguard as a research device for measuring head impact kinematics. To evaluate kinematic accuracy, laboratory impact testing was performed at sites on the helmet and facemask for determining how closely instrumented mouthguard data matched data from an anthropomorphic test device. Laboratory testing results showed that peak linear acceleration (r 2 = 0.96), peak angular acceleration (r 2 = 0.89), and peak angular velocity (r 2 = 0.98) measurements were highly correlated between the instrumented mouthguard and anthropomorphic test device. Normalized root-mean-square errors for impact time traces were 9.9 ± 4.4% for linear acceleration, 9.7 ± 7.0% for angular acceleration, and 10.4 ± 9.9% for angular velocity. This study demonstrates the potential of an instrumented mouthguard as a research tool for measuring in vivo impacts, which could help uncover the link between head impact kinematics and brain injury in American football.


Concussion mTBI Brain Angular velocity Linear acceleration Translational acceleration Angular acceleration Rotational velocity Gyroscope 



The authors would like to thank X2Impact for donation of devices and equipment required for laboratory testing. This work was supported in part by the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award 1UL1 RR025744 for the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Education and Research (Spectrum) and by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no personal financial conflict of interests related to this study.


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Camarillo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pete B. Shull
    • 1
  • James Mattson
    • 2
  • Rebecca Shultz
    • 2
  • Daniel Garza
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University School of MedicineStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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