Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

UP students develop plant-based prosthetic for breast cancer survivors

BRAKONG

By Brontë H. Lacsamana, Reporter 

BRAKONG — a lightweight external breast prosthesis made of the aquatic plant bakong — was given the top prize in the Philippine leg of the 2022 James Dyson Award this September.  

Now progressing to the international stage, the team behind Brakong — composed of Jason N. Pechardo and Emmanuelle A. Pangilinan, students at the University of the Philippines (UP)–Diliman — is waiting for the announcement of the shortlist on Oct. 12 and of the winners on Nov. 16.   

The two students, who have collaborated on several industrial design projects, conceptualized Brakonglast year after realizing that breast cancer in the Philippines was alarmingly prevalent.  

They turned their attention to breast cancer survivors who have undergone mastectomy and hypothesized that indigenous materials with antimicrobial properties could make a good medical product.  

Produced through 3D scanning technology, the plant-based product can be customized to the user’s body measurements. Unlike silicone, cotton, polyester, or foam, which are some of the usual materials that make up breast prostheses, bakong is an accessible, low-cost, and naturally biodegradable raw material —addressing sustainability issues.   

“It’s the responsibility of all people who make products to think about the circularity of their designs … As long as we keep bringing these things to light, the economy will eventually cater for the development of sustainable products,” said Ms. Pangilinan.  

Mr. Pechardo added that bakong can be used to develop other medical materials and devices.  

“We’re hoping we could get additional funding for product research and development for the material of the breast form. Aside from the cash grant, we’re also hoping we can get more funds from investors, government, or research organizations,” he said.  

The extrusion machines at UP, which they use to develop the product, haven’t been adequate. Renting updated equipment can help them improve and iterate, since Brakong’s form is continuously evolving based on feedback from partners such as ICanServe Foundation, Inc., an early breast cancer detection advocacy group. 

“Further down the road we’ll need investors for commercialization, but for now we are still talking to different people to evolve the form of the product,” said Ms. Pangilinan. 

With the help of the UP College of Fine Arts’ Fablab and the Design Center of the Philippines under the Department of Trade and Industry, the two students hope to develop Brakong into a product beneficial to Filipino breast cancer survivors.  

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Filipino women, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.  

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

News

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS WASHINGTON D.C. — The United States is seeking to form a coalition of countries to drive negotiations on a global...

News

Buildings are seen along EDSA in Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN By Diego Gabriel C. Robles  THE WORLD BANK (WB) upgraded...

News

Heavy traffic is seen on the southbound lane of EDSA in Cubao, Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN THE PHILIPPINE auto industry’s...

News

REUTERS THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) may deliver a second off-cycle rate hike in early November when the US Federal Reserve is expected...

News

Vendors arrange their goods at a public market in Manila. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSEL A. PALMA THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) is planning to...

Editor’s Pick

With the reversal of the 1.25% rise in National Insurance Contributions happening on the 6th of November, employers across the nation have an opportunity...

You May Also Like

News

BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...

News

KARASOLAR.COM TENA, Ecuador — Ecuador’s rainforest Achuar people say their ancestors long dreamed of a “fire canoe” or “electric fish” that would let them...

News

REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...

News

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...

Disclaimer: Respect Investment.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.