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A young scientist recognized for biomechanics innovations

d. 'The risk is primarily fetal mortality.'A study by Duma's research group estimated that about 1,500 fetuses in the second and third trimesters are killed each year in automotive accidents.

Using Christine as the human model, Duma developed a computer model simulating a uterus and fetus at the seven-and-a-half month stage. The model is being used by automakers to test new restraint designs for pregnant drivers and also can be used to study injuries to pregnant women and fetuses in cases of domestic violence and falls.

Another first is a study of head impact injuries that began during Virginia Tech's 2003-2004 football season. Working with Dr. Gunnar Brolinson, head football team physician and a professor in the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Mike Goforth, team trainer with Virginia Tech Sports Medicine, Duma equips the Hokies' football helmets with sensors that record impacts in terms of G (gravity) forces. The sensors transmit real-time data to a sideline computer system that keeps track of a range of head impact information for each player wearing the sensors.

Aimed at discovering the levels at which impacts begin to result in concussions and other brain traumas, the study has found that players typically receive 50 to 100 head impacts per game, the most severe equal to the force of car crashes. Coaches and physicians with a number of football teams are using the system for real-time assessments of head impacts. Duma expects the study to result in designs for safer sports head gear, as well as new concussion treatment and evaluation methods.

The Eye Injury Research Program established by Duma at Virginia Tech is the nation's largest research program for airbag-induced eye injuries and one of the largest for all types of eye injuries. His group developed the first computer model of the human eye that can accurately predict the probability of eye injury under any type of impact, as well as the first
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