NerveGen project, for the production (by 3D printing) of biodegradable medical devices for peripheral nerve regeneration, is the winner of the 1st edition of the J. Norberto Pires Innovation Prize, awarded by the University of Coimbra.
The award was handed over on the 9th, to researcher Jorge Coelho, researcher from the Laboratory for Wear, Testing and Materials, responsible for the project, during the Inovação@UC event, held at the São Francisco Convent.
The NerveGen project, developed by the University of Coimbra, seeks to address the problem of loss of sensory and motor functions of people who have suffered peripheral nerve damage (due, for example, to road or work accidents, tumors or viral infections), with great impact on their quality of life and productivity. The team has developed a revolutionary formulation (now patented) for the production - by 3D printing - of small guide tubes, of adaptable size, that connect and allow the reconnection of the two ends of an injured [severed] nerve. This proposed guide-tube, already tested on animals, presents clear advantages compared to the solutions existing until now to respond to nerve lesions of this type: it has structural resistance to suture, does not produce toxic by-products, is flexible and has excellent structural integrity, transparency, permeability, ease of storage at room temperature, and may be produced according to the specific needs of each patient.
The J. Norberto Pires Innovation Prize
aims at stimulating and recognizing innovative initiatives conceived and developed by students, employees, teachers or researchers of the University of Coimbra (or who have any kind of academic or functional link to this institution), being a tribute to Professor Doctor Joaquim Norberto Pires, for his contribution to innovation at the University of Coimbra. The award, presented annually, includes the awarding of a diploma and a reward of 6.000 euros.