8 October 2020

On Wednesday, October 7th, four TURBO grants were awarded to new technical-medical research proposals. The grants are part of the TURBO program, a collaboration between the University of Twente (TechMed Centre) and the Radboudumc. With these grants, research groups from both institutions can further develop an innovative idea with the intent of subsequently submitting it to an external grant provider. The TURBO program is now in its fourth year.

The projects:

Cardiovascular Risk Computation: a wake-up call for risk prediction

Berend Westerhof UT and Dick Thijssen Radboudumc

Worldwide,17.9 million people die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) each year, accounting for 31% of all deaths. Ultrasound-based assessment of carotid artery is a popular strategy to assess vascular health, specifically wall thickness and plaque presence. Recently, researchers Berend Westerhof (UT) and Dick Thijssen (Radboudumc) introduced novel technologies to examine carotid dynamics and haemodynamics. The proposed TURBO-work aligns with the current development of hand-held pocket-size echo-Doppler devices. This allows for point-of-care assessment, providing an in-depth evaluation of vascular health.


Accelerating bone metastasis fracture risk

Jelmer Wolterink UT and Bram van Ginneken Radboudumc

In the Netherlands, bone metastases affect annually over 25000 patients of whom 2500 have femoral metastases. The study from Jelmer Wolterink (UT) and Bram van Ginneken (Radboudumc) will contribute to improving the quality of life of patients with advanced cancer and femoral bone metastases. Their method will aid in optimizing local treatment of individual patients.  As a result, the number of over- and undertreated patients will decrease, resulting in improved quality of life and lower health care costs.


Fitness of the heart

Robert Passier UT and Dirk Lefeber Radboudumc

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide and is expected to increase to epidemic proportions. It has become increasingly clear that metabolism plays an important role in heart function in health and disease. The combined long-term vision of Robert Passier (UT) and Dirk Lefeber (Radboudumc) for the development of a heart-on-a-chip size will broadly impact cost-effective treatments for cardiovascular disease (CVD) development.


Development of a Powered ankle-foot

Ali Sadeghi UT and Alexander Geurts Radboudumc

In our society, an increasing number of people have neurological disorders (e.g. stroke) leading to gait impairments that require the use of an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO). Potential users often decline the use of conventional passive AFOs that prevent foot drop, due to serious side-effects. The TURBO grant enables researchers Ali Sadeghi (UT) and Alexander Geurts (Radboudumc) to develop an EVO that stores energy, based on soft robotics. With this, the researchers want to demonstrate the great potential of rehabilitation robotics.


The TURBO program started in 2017 and is an acronym for 'Twente University Radboudumc Opportunities.' It ties in with the TOPFIT program, which gives further effect to the ‘Concepts for a Healthy Life' innovation profile of the East region in the Netherlands. The purpose of a TURBO grant is to prepare a project for acquiring larger, external funding, such as those provided by national and European funds and companies that are active in the field of health care and technology.

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