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BMBF Innovation Award for MHB project AngioAccel

Dr. Philipp Hillmeister und Prof. Ivo Buschmann (v.l.n.r.) erhalten den VIP+ Validierungspreis (Foto: BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel)

Berlin/Brandenburg an der Havel, 4 April 2022

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) honoured the MHB project AngioAccel with this year’s innovation award during the VIP+ innovation meeting in Berlin.

Dr. Philipp Hillmeister, director of the angiology research unit at the municipal hospital in Brandenburg, one of the MHB university clinics, is highly pleased with the award: “Our VIP+ funded AngioAccel project is concerned with the development and validation of a medical product to be used in the treatment of peripheral artery disease. This refers to an increasing obstruction in arteries that provide foot or leg with oxygen and blood. Reduced blood flow means reduced oxygen supply; one possible result is that affected persons cannot manage walks of more than 50 meters before they have to stop and rest. Wound formation may follow in advanced stages, and even amputation of foot or leg. During the VIP+ validation phase we developed a demonstrator for the treatment of this disease, a kind of prototype and the first medical product to be designed at the MHB.” Initiated by Prof. Ivo Buschmann, MHB Professor of Angiology and clinical director/head physician of angiology, the project was implemented and advanced in collaboration with Dr. Philipp Hillmeister.

“The award was preceded by a phase of intensive testing and preparation. We had to prove not only the technical feasibility but also the general usability and acceptance of our appliance via pilot applications and test series. We conducted angiological examinations on about 1000 patients in our outpatient research laboratory over the past years. We demonstrated the very positive results of non-invasive therapy with the antepulsation procedure to stimulate physical regeneration of arteries and treat vascular disorders. Patients get to wear cuffs around hips and thighs, and regular pulses of compressed air serve to accelerate blood flow and effectively simulate physical exercise. Arteries are made to believe that the patient is running a marathon while he is actually lying in bed. Compared to other methods, our procedure has obvious benefits specifically for patients of already reduced mobility. Just the nomination of our project AngioAccel for a shortlist of 10 felt like a tremendous success. And now we at the Brandenburg Medical School are happy and proud to be one of three equally ranked winners of the 2022 innovation award, together with the Technical University of Munich and the TU Dresden in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Application Center AVV,” so Prof. Ivo Buschmann.

As grounds for the award, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research underlines the high success rate of the AngioAccel concept in improving the mobility of PAOD patients and thus their quality of life. The therapy concept validated in the VIP+ programme helped them to increase the walking distances they can cover by up to 500%.

Dr. h.c. Thomas Sattelberger (parliamentary state secretary with the BMBF) describes research as the basis of tomorrow’s value creation and guarantor of high-quality health care provision: “The Corona pandemic has demonstrated this once again. Research findings need to be implemented in practice so that excellent research performance and great ideas can be turned into real innovations. Our focus is always on research transfer. This is why the BMBF has created the VIP+ programme to stimulate the transfer of research results into commercial utilisation and social application. The common element to all prize-winning projects is their fast usability for individual citizens and commercial enterprises. They are true pioneers in their respective fields and have the potential for better health care and more sustainable products.”

Every two years the prize is awarded to scientific projects whose findings have been translated into innovative applications in an exemplary manner. Projects from all subject areas and disciplines may be entered for the competition.

Background

The BMBF started the funding programme for the “validation of technological and social innovation potential of scientific research (VIP+)” in 2015. The idea is to support scientists in testing outstanding technological and non-technological findings for subsequent application or utilisation. Results are checked and tested for practicability and feasibility, for example in application fields of considerable economic value or societal benefit. In this way, VIP+ also serves to strengthen the transfer culture in all participating institutions. Since the programme was launched, funding of almost 200 million Euros has been authorized for a total of 175 projects. Over a five-year period after funding from VIP+ expired, almost one third of the former projects have led to companies being founded or entering the start-up phase. In more than one fifth of the completed projects, participation in the VIP+ programme resulted in the filing of patents.

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