The Radboudumc in cooperation with the ErasmusMC, University Hospital Leuven, HCM Medical and several patient organizations has been granted 1.3 million euro for the development and evaluation of a new technology to prevent premature rupture of fetal membranes (iPPROM).
The 6-year project is based on an advanced collagen-based plug and includes a clinical trial. At Radboudumc, Willeke Daamen, Frank Vandenbussche, Joris van Drongelen, Toin van Kuppevelt (all theme Reconstructive & and regenerative medicine), and Janneke Grutters (theme Urological Cancers) are involved.
Minimal fetal surgery using endoscopy is a promising medical technology to treat children before birth, e.g. children with rare diseases like congenital diaphragmatic hernia, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome or spina bifida. During endoscopy, the fetal membranes are punctured, which introduces a significant risk of membrane rupture and subsequent premature birth, and is considered the achilles heel of fetoscopic surgery. The plug is anticipated to close the membranes at the endoscopic entry point thus preventing amniotic fluid leakage and associated severe complications.