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Aegon helps Transform Tomorrow for serious burns survivors

April 2, 2015

In 2014, the Dutch Burns Foundation purchased an advanced 3D printer for the reconstruction of ears and noses for burns victims. Last week, following months of testing, the printer was used for the first time.

3D Cartilage PrinterBack in 2013, with the support of Aegon employees, the Dutch Burns Foundation (Nederlandse Brandwonden Stichting) won the first prize of 25,000 euro in the 3M Fonds competition. A few months later, a final 10,000 euro contribution from Aegon enabled the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam to raise the 60,000 euro needed for this advanced 3D printer.

Printing with living cells

The printer is specially designed to work with living cells and bio-materials, making it possible to print cartilage implants. Plastic Surgeon, Paul van Zuijlen, is extremely enthusiastic about this new technology: "This will allow us to provide individually tailored solutions for patients with disfiguration to the nose and ears."

In the laboratory, researchers grow human cartilage using the cells of a specific patient. The 3D printer uses this to print an implant with exactly the right shape to fit the patient. The printer is able to print using a variety of materials simultaneously, and will also be used for research into the repair of damaged tissues.

During my stay in the burns unit, I saw how much people need this. Back then, nobody dreamed it was possible. Fantastic that Aegon could support this.
 

This technology can be life changing, and Aegon's support touched a nerve among a number of its own employees. "I suffered serious burns myself a few years ago," says Maaike Feskens, who works in Aegon's claims department. "During my stay in the burns unit, I saw how much people need this. Back then, nobody dreamed it was possible. Fantastic that Aegon could support this. Great!"

Aegon sponsorship

Aegon in the Netherlands has supported the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam since 2002, as the main sponsor of the VU MC Alzheimer Center. The Center is one of four in The Netherlands, primarily focusing on early onset dementia in young people. They are researching methods that help detect the disease early on. This is an important step in the effective treatment of Alzheimer. At Aegon we believe that we have a role to play in providing our customers with the tools and confidence to take responsibility for their financial future. This is a particular challenge for Alzheimer's patients.

Written by: Aegon

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