DOST funds UP-PGH’s surgical innovation, biotechnology program

| Written by Padayon UP

The Surgical Innovation and Biotechnology (SIBOL) program being implemented by the College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila-Philippine General Hospital (PGH) has secured funding support from the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).

This was disclosed by DOST Secretary Fotunato “Boy” T. de la Peña during his weekly report on Friday, July 30.

“The SIBOL program aims to establish a surgical innovation laboratory for the conduct of researches and projects in a surgical device innovation in the UP College of Medicine and the PGH as well as a surgical innovation skills laboratory that will serve as a pre-clinical trial laboratory for investigational surgical devices,” he said.

He cited that the scientists and engineers from UP Diliman were also involved in the program.

Under the program, the Surgical Innovation and Biotechnology Laboratory or SIBOL Laboratory will be established. It will be located on the 9th floor of the new Henry Sy, Sr. Medical Sciences Building of UP Manila, which is currently under construction.

De la Peña said the program is also expected to increase the capacity of clinicians and surgical device innovation researchers and become a premier hub for surgical device innovation researches and projects.

“The program will also develop and finalize the governance framework for the laboratories,” he added.

The SIBOL program, which started in April 2021, is led by Dr. Edward Wang, professor and doctor of orthopedics at UP College of Medicine and the PGH.

Aside from the setting up of the SIBOL lab, the three other component projects are the following:

– the design and fabrication of external fixators used in orthopedic surgery;

– development of a cost-effective, smart lighting system for use in the operating room; and

– development of a compact device for measuring intraoperative blood loss in used surgical gauze and laparotomy packs.

De la Peña said the details of the component projects are as follows:

iFIX: Design and Fabrication of External Fixator

“The project will develop local, customized external fixators used in orthopedic surgery that provides modularity in design and reliability in terms of biomechanical testing for stiffness and stability,” he said.

“This biomechanically tested innovation will eventually address the needs of the local population especially in places where external fixators are not readily available.”

He said by the end of this project, the public can expect the production of a prototype of the different external fixators for the different bones of the body.

Operating Room Programmable Electronically Targeted Active Lighting System (OR PETALS)

“The project aims to develop a cost-effective smart lighting system for use in the operating room that will address one of the most common problems encountered in surgical lighting, which is the difficulty in the illumination of structures located in hard-to-reach areas such as deep structures or curved surfaces,” de la Peña said.

“By the end of this project, one basic OR petals prototype and one advanced OR petals prototype are expected to be produced.”

iBlood: A Compact Device for Measuring Intraoperative Blood Loss in Used Surgical Gauze and Laparotomy Packs

“The project aims to develop a cost-effective tandem of hardware and software that will accurately estimate the volume of blood loss in laparotomy packs and gauze used during surgery,” the DOST chief.

Expected to be produced are three alpha prototypes and two beta prototypes by the end of this project.

These projects were developed by UP Manila clinicians and UP-Diliman engineers.

De la Peña said Wang’s team has formed the SIBOL COVID Task Force in response to the urgent need for medical device innovations aimed at protecting the healthcare workers amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).


(This article, written by Charissa Luci-Atienza, was first published in the Manila Bulletin Website on July 31, 2021)