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Concussion research leads to new discovery

A Purdue University research group is on the cusp of lowering the time it takes to diagnose brain trauma. The group has developed a new test board that allows quick and easy diagnosis by pricking your finger.

Posted: Dec. 30, 2017 6:51 PM
Updated: Dec. 30, 2017 11:16 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)—A Purdue University research group is on the cusp of lowering the time it takes to diagnose brain trauma. The group has developed a new test board that allows quick and easy diagnosis by pricking your finger.

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Jeff Rhoades and Eric Nauman are working together to develop a test board that reacts to protiens consistent with concussions. The board will allow for tests at an affordable rate. An MRI costs nearly one thousand dollars in contrast.

The boards can also test beyond head trauma and into fields like cancer research. Mechanical Engineering Professor Jeff Rhoads said it's been a great experience applying engineering to biology.

"Well I think one of the unique things about engineering is the the ability to take core ideas and move them from application area to application area," said Rhoads. "So it's exciting for us to jump into a field like bio-sensing which has a lot of future promise leveraging things we've understood from other areas of study in the past."

Eric Nauman has done extensive research on concussions and head trauma while on Purdue's campus. He said, quick, cost effective tests like these are important for football players, especially at the high school level. 

"Get kind of the most athletes and they're not doing it for money they're doing it because they love to play, and we want to keep them as safe as possible."

The research team hopes to send out their test boards to medical companies for practical use in the near future.

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