Chest Protector

University of Miami, 2004 - $11,095

This E-Team developed an enhanced chest protector aimed at little league baseball players. More than any other sport, baseball players are susceptible to sudden cardiac death (SCD) as a result of a baseball hitting the child’s chest, particularly the silhouette of the heart located in the upper-left quadrant. The team built a chest protector that disperses the force of a direct hit over the chest, mostly through extra padding.

Three are three giants in the baseball equipment market: Rawlings, Mizuno, and Wilson. Each offers different chest protectors using different materials, but none offer a protector explicitly aimed at preventing SCD. Their protectors rely on impact absorption, whereas the E-Team’s protector focuses on impact redistribution, with extra layering around the heart.

The E-Team consisted of five biomedical engineering undergraduates, a professor of biomedical engineering, a professor of architecture and design, a local entrepreneur, and a cardiologist (who initially brought the project to the team’s attention).