Research team

Laboratory Experimental Medicine and Pediatrics (LEMP)

Expertise

Fetal circulatory physiology Endothelial function in newborns Neonatal transition - Newborn Life Support Quality and Patient Safety in Health Care

Exposure to plasticizers leaching from plastic medical devices in Neonatal Intensive Care and impact on the long-term neurocognitive and pulmonary development. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

- Phthalates (i.e. DEHP) and alternative plasticizers (APs) are used in plastics to increase their elasticity and extend their lifetime. - Leaching of plasticizers from indwelling medical devices used in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) might expose neonates to these chemicals at levels far exceeding tolerable daily dose recommendations. - Although awareness of these plasticizers is growing, they are still used in many (most) medical devices even in the NICU. - Premature neonates are extremely vulnerable to external insults. - This project aims to explore the utility of levels of plasticizers and their metabolites in a keratinous non-invasive matrix (hair) and in urine as a diagnostic tool for cumulative and past exposure in the neonatal intensive care unit. - The possibility that this matrix can detect past and cumulative exposure in this vulnerable population is a novel approach and is expected to provide fresh insights into the detection of past exposure to these chemicals. - The studied plasticizers have toxic effects on neuronal and pulmonary cells, as proven in in vitro and in vivo (animal and human) models. - Based on these pathophysiological effects, we hypothesize that exposure to these plasticizers during the NICU stay contributes to the long-lasting impaired (neurocognitive and lung) development that is frequently observed in neonates after discharge from NICU.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Exposure of premature neonates to bisphenol A and phthalates at the intensive care unit: accumulation in hair and long-term neurodevelopmentel and pulmonary toxicity. 01/11/2019 - 31/10/2023

Abstract

- Premature neonates are extremely vulnerable to external insults. - Bisphenol A and phthalates (DEHP) are plasticizers, used in soft plastics to increase their elasticity and extend their lifetime. - Leaching of plasticizers from indwelling medical devices used in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) might expose neonates to these chemicals at levels far exceeding tolerable daily dose recommendations. - Although awareness of these plasticizers is growing, they are still used in many medical devices in NICU. They are prohibited in the production of toys intended for children under 3 years of age, but legislation about their use in medical devices isn't strict or clear. - The studied plasticizers have toxic effects on neuronal and pulmonary cells, as proven in in vitro and in vivo (animal and human) models. - This project aims to explore the utility of plasticizer levels in an emerging non-invasive matrix (hair) as a diagnostic tool for cumulative and past exposure in the neonatal intensive care unit. - The possibility that this matrix can detect past exposure in this vulnerable population is a novel approach and is expected to provide fresh insights into the detection of past exposure to chemicals. - Based on these pathophysiological effects, we hypothesize that exposure to these plasticizers during the NICU stay contributes to the long-lasting impaired (neurocognitive and lung) development that is frequently observed in neonates after discharge from NICU.

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Research team(s)

iNNOCENS: data driven clinical decision support for improved neonatal care. 01/05/2019 - 30/04/2020

Abstract

Analysis of patient related vital parameters generated in a continuous manner on a neonatal intensive care department offers the opportunity to develop computational models that can predict care-related complications. This project aims to develop a machine learning model that can predict acquired brain injury of prematurity. The model can than be implemented to generate bedside visualizations in the context of a self-learning digital early warning system.

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Point-of-care testing for free bilirubin diagnosis (FREEBDX). 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

This project seeks to develop a point-of-care test to measure free-bilirubin concentration in neonates. UA-PO and ams, an external partner, will translate a laboratory protocol to measure free bilirubin, developed at UA-UZA, into an appropriate setup for point-of-care testing. The setup will be benchmarked against the laboratory protocol in the UZA laboratory.

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Research team(s)