Concussions occur when the brain rotates within the skull after an impact. The movement causes axons in the brain to tear or stretch, leading to symptoms associated with brain injury.
Helmets that meet today’s standards do not protect against the “rotational acceleration” of the brain that can cause a concussion.
It’s time for something better.
MIPS Helmet Lessens the Rotation
The Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) helmet is designed to protect against the rotational acceleration that can injure the brain.
Designers behind the MIPS helmet were inspired by the body’s own brain protection system. “The secret behind MIPS’ unique patent comes from the human brain, which is now into its 150,000th year” (MIPS website) in its own cerebrospinal fluid.
Our brains are protected by cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid allows the brain to slide around inside the skull when we hit our heads. MIPS helmet designers created a helmet that simulates the natural protection provided by the fluid around our brains. They have included a layer of low-friction material between a helmet’s outer shell and inner liner. The sandwiched layer allows the shell of the helmet to move separately from the liner, the same way a brain “floats” in its own cerebrospinal fluid.
The MIPS design is gaining traction with major helmet manufacturers around the world. The technology has been licensed to about 20 helmet manufacturers in snowboarding, skiing, cycling, equestrian, and motocross.
Now the company behind MIPS is ready to take on bigger clients in hockey and football.
In 2012, Bauer released the RE-AKT hockey helmet with a low-friction “suspend-tech” liner similar to the MIPS design. The release suggests that MIPS technology might one day find a home in the NHL and hockey at all levels.
The NFL is also evaluating the MIPS concept. “We’re looking at it very seriously,” says one member of the League’s safety equipment subcommittee. Some say MIPS technology might even “save football.”
To see MIPS technology in action:
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