A Novel Method for Diagnosing and Monitoring Brain Trauma Patients

A schematic illustrating brain trauma

Invention Summary:

Brain trauma encompasses both traumatic brain injury — an external penetrating or non-penetrating force to the skull that results in brain damage and swelling — and trauma associated with disease states such as brain tumors, stroke, seizures, and infections. Initial brain trauma may result in a loss of consciousness (coma) followed by a prolonged period of recovery with lingering cognitive, emotional, social, and motor impairments. Current methods for assessing the effectiveness of therapies rely primarily on subjective criteria that are prone to errors. There is a need for tools that can provide valuable real-time quantitative feedback on small incremental improvements to motor function associated with physiological measures of a patient’s mental state (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, galvanic skin response, etc.) in response to therapies and treatments.

Rutgers scientists have developed a new analytical method for correlating physiological states to motor function using a sensitive method for teasing out small, but reliable and systematic changes in signals derived from biometric data supplied from commercially available sensors that can be worn by patients during recovery and therapy at the hospital or at home. It separates the spontaneous random micro-motions from the systematic predictable ones. This method was successfully used to monitor physiological and motor signals associated with improvements and progressive recovery from a coma of a pregnant woman with brain trauma. It even captured and recorded her labor contractions, as the patient later delivered a child by C-section.

Market Applications:

  • Diagnose and monitor brain trauma in patients of injury, stroke, seizure, and infection.
  • Use in combination with currently available sensors or as part of an integrated wearable sensor unit.
  • Physical therapy applications for TBI rehabilitation.
  • Early detection of brain trauma in individuals involved in high-risk activities (high impact athletics such as boxing, football, etc.).


  • Highly sensitive and quantitative.
  • Non-invasive and easy to use with currently available sensor technology.
  • Portable. Can be used at home or hospital

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. This technology is available for licensing and/or research collaboration


  • Torres, EB and Lande, B (2015). Objective and personalized longitudinal assessment of a pregnant patient with post severe brain trauma. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Volume 9, Article 128
Patent Information:
ID: 2015-048

Elizabeth Torres
For Information, Contact:
Fred Banti
Associate Director, Life Sciences
Rutgers University
Mental Health
Neurological disorder & neuropathic pain