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EEUM student wins Startup Nano programme
The student was awarded for his sleeve to help cancer patients. This was the most innovative of the ideas incubated in Startup Nano.
Carlos Gonçalves, student from the International Doctoral programme in Leaders for Technical Industries (EDAM-LTI) from the MIT Portugal Programme at the School of Engineering of the University of Minho (EEUM), has developed an active compression sleeve that will help patients in the treatment of the swollen arm, better known as upper limb lymphedema. This was the most innovative of the ideas incubated for 10 weeks by Startup Nano, the first national acceleration and incubation programme for startups in nanotechnology.
The programme was promoted by the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), the Centre for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials (CeNTI), partnering with Startup Braga.
Upper limb lymphedema is common in breast cancer patients and is characterised by an increase in the arm diameter, which causes disabling pain. Current therapies consist of arm compressions using lymphatic drainage massages and pressotherapy using inflatable sleeves. Carlos Gonçalves explains that the new compression sleeve is innovative because up to now “current therapies have to be performed in public or private hospitals, which forces patients to travel and does not allow frequent treatments”. “With the active compression sleeve, treatment will be possible anywhere, anytime”, the researcher highlighted.
This project results from a partnership between the University of Minho (UMinho), CeNTI and MIT and is currently under a national patent registration process. The researcher clarifies that the result of the patent application is awaited soon, so that it is possible to complete the procedures necessary for a European patent application, aiming at marketing the product. Carlos Gonçalves considers that this award “is an important recognition of the work carried out as a student of the EEUM”.
The second award of this second edition of Startup Nano was granted to a project of microfiltration of fluids against dust and pathogens, under the coordination of Hugo Macedo, and the third award to a bioreactor that allows a tighter control of the cell culture conditions, presented by Marta Maciel and Ricardo Pereira, UMinho’s former students. The pre-selection of the candidates took place in October 2017, where nine projects were selected for the incubation phase.