An innovative patch to be developed in the Radboud university medical center to treat babies with a hole in the diaphragm has won the “Medische Inspirator” award. Sanne Botden (paediatric surgeon in training at Radboudumc) and Frank Meijer (father of a child with CDH and initiator of Platform CHD) were awarded ZonMW’s stimulation prize to further develop the patch.
A jury headed by Elizabeth Vroom (Duchenne Parent Project) and the general public determined the winner together. The jury praised the winning project because the urgency is evident from the patients' perspective and this is translated into the design of the study. The audience was enthusiastic as well; the patch earned sixty percent of the over 19,000 likes on Facebook.
Dr. Sanne Botden: "It was a close call; last week we were still in second place on Facebook. The remaining days over eight thousand likes were added to our movie, mainly due to efforts of patients’ parents. We heard that also the jury chose our proposal. Wonderful!”
The current patch to close the diaphragmatic hernia in babies is stiff, does not allow ingrowth of muscle cells, and can give complications. Researcher Willeke Daamen, who will develop the patch with Sanne: "We want to create a new biodegradable patch with biological components that should ensure that a new and normal diaphragm is formed. With this price, we can perform the planned research."
Annually sixty babies born in the Netherlands with diaphragmatic hernia, a congenital birth defect. Approximately 40% of children with a large hernia die despite placement of a patch. Fifty percent of babies keep chronic lung problems while growing up. The goal of this new patch is to let children breathe better and improve their quality of life.
This year, the Medical Inspirer was awarded for the first time. This incentive, worth 50,000 euros, is given to the best project plan on development of a medical product. The project should be a collaboration between patient and researcher. The price is provided by the ZonMw program Medical Products “New and Needed”.
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