South East Wales

Welsh research project £160k to tackle sports helmet safety designs

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDesigners hope the new materials they have developed could help prevent brain injuries in hard-hitting sports

Welsh engineers and academics have received more than £160,000 ($240,000) to develop new materials for use in sports helmets.

The project has been partly funded by American Football's professional league, the NFL.

The designers at a Wrexham-based firm and in Cardiff University's School of Engineering hope it could cut brain injuries in high impact sports.

Meanwhile, scientists said they have also made a head injury breakthrough.

Experts said they have created an agent to reduce the risk of brain inflammation and infections after a head injury.

The body's natural response to injury is to see damaged tissue as "foreign" and potentially worsen the injury, yet researchers said the agent blocks this response, reducing inflammation and helping recovery.

Image copyright Thinkstock

Cardiff University said the treatment specifically targets injured tissue.

The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences after being tested on mice.

The university will now seek to translate the findings to humans, and said it could be "life-changing" for patients.

It is estimated more than a million people in the UK are admitted to hospital as a result of a head injury every year.

More on this story