Sports injuries come with excruciating pain and usually, the athlete does not require any external source of help in order to pinpoint where it hurts the most. However, what happenes when the athlete is a paralympian and can’t feel anything below the waist due to spinal cord injury? This is not just hypothetical folks; there are a number of such athletes who don’t realize where they have received an injury and continue playing and subsequently, the treatment is delayed.
Owing to these facts; students at London’s Imperial College and The Royal College of Art have come up with these ‘bruise pants’. The students were inspired by the British paralympian skier Talan Skeels-Piggins who told them how he doesn’t realize when he’s been hurt and and this results in more complications. These pants have been designed to allow for the athlete to know how hard the impact was on his lower body by providing him with a visual aid. The pants come with small pockets incorporated into them located at vital points and contain a special pressure sensitive plastic film along with colored dye.
The impacts received result in the dye rising to the surface – the impact’s strength determines the reaction of film and how much of dye is allowed to rise up. The color strength and size will tell how bad the impact was. This film was originally manufactured to ensure evenness of the print roller pressures but it would seem that there are other uses for it as well. Test phase for this concept made use of animal corpses which were tested on a drop tower where the release of dye was checked against the impact strength.
The idea so far is to provide the athlete with visual aid so that he/she can determine if medical treatment is required or not. The manufacturing team also has plans to come up with a shirt with same properties as well.