Bioengineering trailblazer and TeachAids advisor David Camarillo illuminates frontiers of concussion research
Chew on this: modern helmets don’t prevent concussions, but mouthguards might — that’s exactly what Stanford professor Dr. David Camarillo is researching.
Dr. Camarillo’s mouthguards give the term “smart mouth” a new meaning, detecting head motion with accelerometers and gyroscopes. Tested on Stanford football players, boxers, lacrosse athletes, boys rugby participants and local MMA fighters, these mouthguards allow scientists to analyze linear as well as rotational brain acceleration during contact sports, and could inform the design of safer protective gear and better regulations.
With expertise in instrumentation and biomechanics, Dr. Camarillo leads studies like these as Principal Investigator of the Camarillo Lab. His team researches medical technology design — such as force measurement devices — for mild traumatic brain injury prevention, embryo viability prediction, and cardiovascular robotic surgery. The Camarillo Lab receives funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH), and Dr. Camarillo received the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program award for his research.
Before launching his Stanford research group in 2012, Dr. Camarillo gained industry experience working at Intuitive Surgical and Hansen Medical. He has discussed the role of technology in sports safety in an in-depth 2017 New York Times article, as a TED speaker and as a guest on NPR’s Weekend Edition. Most recently, Dr. Camarillo has become a lead in the Taube Stanford Concussion Collaborative, alongside Dr. Gerald Grant and Dr. Piya Sorcar.
“There are many misconceptions about concussion, and even more so about concussion technology,” Dr. Camarillo said. “I am excited to work with Dr. Sorcar and partner with Teachaids on building concussion education that will reach so many kids and actually stick because CrashCourse is such an engaging experience.”
Concussions are personal for Dr. Camarillo — as a former football player and avid cyclist he has suffered multiple, developing PTSD after his worst, so he recognizes the urgency to understand them and promote safety for the millions of young athletes today. TeachAids is honored to welcome Dr. David Camarillo to the CrashCourse advisory team.