The University of Connecticut Health Center was awarded $50,000 this month, in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, to further its efforts in breast cancer research, according to a press release.
UConn Health was one of three Connecticut organizations awarded grants from the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative , the other two being Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center and the Hospital of Central Connecticut.
“We are very proud of the support we continue to receive from sponsors, donors, volunteers
and participants,” Joyce Bray, president of the CT BHI Board of Directors, said in the press release. “Those efforts translate into tangible support for cutting-edge research and programmatic initiatives, right here in Connecticut.”
With this grant, UConn Health’s Biomedical Engineering Dept. is able to further pursue its Personalized 3D Printed Breast Forms project. This project aims to “create personalized 3D breast forms for breast cancer patients who have had a mastectomy, but have not had breast reconstruction,” according to the press release.
The 3D printed prosthetic will be used in a bra or swimsuit, rather than be implanted. It will also replace the normally-uncomfortable standard breast form.
“It will be a porous 3D lattice covered with a breathable fabric that is a match in both the
front and back of the women’s shape,” according to the press release. “It is an advance that will make a difference in women’s lives as they navigate the challenges of breast cancer.”
UConn Health associate professor of biomedical engineering Liisa Kuhn noted the importance of this project.
“This research project will let me, and the female engineering students helping me, directly help women cancer survivors overcome challenges and concerns over their appearance post-mastectomy,” Kuhn said.
According to the release, women will be confidentially consulted on how to further improve the design as the project progresses.