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Inventor May Have Better Way to Detect Football Concussions

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A so-called “smart foam” could be the answer to the NFL’s woes concerning concussions.

Brigham Young University grad student Jake Merrell has developed Xonano, which would replace the regular foam lining in helmets.

It’s not that this “smart foam” better protects the head from jarring collisions that can lead to concussions.  Rather, Xonano used tiny embedded nano-particles that send out signals to a coach’s tablet or computer that will enable him to determine how hard the player’s head was hit.

Merrell says, “Even if a player pops up and acts fine, the folks on the sidelines will have data showing that maybe he isn’t OK” and should be taken out of the game.

The next phase of the plan is to enter the “smart foam” into an NFL-sponsored contest known as the Head Health Challenge. The league will award up to $10 million for new inventions that will better protect players and help with a more accurate assessment of collisions.

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ABC News Radio