Chris Yakacki examines a football helmet. The CU Denver professor founded the company Impressio to create safer equipment.

(Courtesy of University of Colorado Denver)

The NFL has become more sensitive to traumatic brain injuries, especially those that originate from helmet-to-helmet hits. With that increased awareness has come more demand for safer equipment. One new start-up filling that need is Impressio, whose president is CU Denver professor Chris Yakacki

The educator turned inventor talked to Colorado Matters about his next generation of helmet. Yakacki's focus is on the foam that lines the inside of the hard outer shell. Impressio's innovation is a sort of shock-absorbing material that can move backward and forwards, not unlike synthetic muscles. Yakacki got grant money from the NFL to help move along research.