Representatives from Paxman and the University of Huddersfield receiving their Award
A UK manufacturer of silicone caps designed to reduce hair loss in patients undergoing chemotherapy has won an award for its collaboration with academia.
Paxman has been recognised with the ‘Partnership with Academia Award’ for a two-year project carried out with the University of Huddersfield that has helped develop the company’s original ‘Scalp Cooling System’.
“During the past two years our collaborative work with the University of Huddersfield has had a significant impact on our business and ultimately, the patients benefitting from scalp cooling treatment to alleviate chemotherapy-induced alopecia. We are delighted to have received this prestigious award with such worthy shortlisted companies in this category,” commented Richard Paxman, CEO.
The partnership with academics in the University of Huddersfield’s Department of Biological Sciences has allowed the company to identify the mechanisms that determine a patients’ response to scalp cooling in order to further improve the efficacy of cooling in preventing hair loss.
Ultimately, this has enabled Paxman to reduce scalp cooling treatment times, therefore cutting down the amount of time patients have to remain in clinic following their chemotherapy. This has helped to free up chair space within clinics, increasing the numbers of patients that can be treated each day.
The project has also led to the design and development of a 21st century cooling cap system, an improvement on the original design, which offers a much better fit to all head shapes, including ethnic varieties. The latest model of the cap uses 3D printed tooling technologies and Paxman says, “will pave the way” for mass manufacture using silicone sheet technology.
Made from lightweight, silicone tubing, the new cap is deigned to fit comfortably on a patient’s head before liquid coolant passes through it, extracting heat from the scalp. This ensures the scalp remains at an even and constant temperature, which helps to reduce the effects of chemotherapy-induced alopecia during treatment.
The new design has transformed Paxman’s manufacturing output from 200 to 2000 units a month whilst reducing cost. The increased production capability, lower unit cost and an improved performance cap design is helping to accelerate the accessibility of scalp cooling as a universal treatment.
Dr Ertu Unver, Principal Enterprise Fellow in Product Design at the University of Huddersfield’s School of Art, Design and Architecture, said: “The aim of the project was to redesign the cooling cap so it fits patients better, something which is vital if the device is to be effective. It also had to be mass-manufactured. We are delighted that the new cap fits the head of patients more efficiently, despite a reduction in the range of sizes. It has also improved the flow pattern of the coolant that cools the head.”
Paxman was presented the award at the Medilink Yorkshire and Humber Healthcare Business Awards in recognition of the work carried out to help improve patient care.
Winners of the awards are automatically put forward as nominations for the Medilink UK Awards, where they will compete with other organisations from across the UK for the national title. The Medilink UK Awards take place on 20th April 2016 at the MedTech Innovation Expo, held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.