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EDUCATION

Recycled Plastic, Recovered Life

Peru | 2024 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow

Point on 'Peru' in world map

Stroke is the leading cause of disability worldwide and the second leading cause of death. Over the last 17 years, the lifetime risk of stroke has increased by 50%, with 1 in 4 people expected to experience a stroke in their lifetime. [1]

In Peru, the situation is critical due to a severe lack of affordable medical supplies, particularly splints vital for stroke rehabilitation. Stroke patients often struggle to afford the necessary medical devices for their rehabilitation, resulting in prolonged recovery times and a diminished quality of life. This issue is exacerbated in areas with limited resources, where hospitals may not have the means to provide adequate support.

Group photo of students

Innovating with PET Plastic

Professor Erik Vidal saw a unique opportunity when he learned about Samsung Solve for Tomorrow. Knowing that his students are always willing to embark on projects that serve their academic and personal growth, he decided to tell them about this great opportunity. Driven by their passion for science and innovation, they decided to address the lack of affordable splints for stroke rehabilitation by creating splints using 3D printing technology and recycled PET plastic bottles.

The team embarked on an intensive journey, involving meticulous research and hands-on experimentation. They engaged with the community, visiting hospitals and consulting with health professionals. Through numerous tests, the team's idea cleverly involved the patients themselves. Patients actively participated by collecting used PET plastic bottles, which were then transformed into the raw material for the 3D printers the students had designed and built.

"Solve for Tomorrow has given us the opportunity to develop and bring our idea to life, allowing it to grow and improve. Witnessing our ideas make a real impact on those in need has been a transformative experience. I am excited and thrilled to contribute to solving a real problem. Solutions like this show me that each person can make a difference if they set their mind to it."

Students testing ideas

Cost-effective Idea for All

The students' dream was simple yet powerful: to make a tangible difference in the lives of stroke patients in Peru. They envisioned a future where every patient, regardless of economic status, could access the medical devices needed for effective rehabilitation. Their innovative approach not only provided an idea but also inspired others to think creatively about resource utilization.

Their vision is to contribute to rehabilitation medicine in Peru by developing innovative and cost-conscious medical devices that significantly improve patient outcomes. Let's support and cheer for the students as they work to transform stroke rehabilitation.

[Reference]

[1] WHO, World Stroke Day 2022

Students wearing lab coats
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