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Two UP engineering students win award for plant-based prosthetic for breast cancer survivors

Brakong aims to help breast cancer survivors deal with the psychological effects of a mastectomy.

Two UP engineering students win award for plant-based prosthetic for breast cancer survivors-Pao Apostol
BY
Pao Apostol

FRESH SCOOPS

09/08/2022 09:16 AM
Two UP engineering students win award for plant-based prosthetic for breast cancer survivors

Two engineering students from the University of the Philippines - Diliman snagged the national James Dyson Award this year for a game-changing invention called “brakong.” 

Brakong is a plant-based prosthetic made for breast cancer survivors to help deal with the psychological effects of a mastectomy, a surgery intended to remove the breasts. 

The process of making brakong involves the use of 3D scanning technology during production to customize the size depending on the body measurements of the breast cancer survivor. 


What makes the invention special is the use of an aquatic plant called bakong. Apparently, it grows perennially in the northern region of the Philippines.

The plant’s antimicrobial properties ensure that the prosthesis stays clean in the chest area so that alone gives patients reassurance when it comes to hygiene. 

Emmanuelle Pangilinan and Jason Pechardo, the minds behind brakong, decided to explore product development opportunities upon hearing stories from breast cancer patients. 

Following their win, Emmanuelle and Jason took home 300,000 pesos for further development of the product. 

The two students will then compete on the international stage with the global edition of the James Dyson Award where they will get the chance to win 1,970,000 million pesos. 

The Philippines, which has the highest prevalence of breast cancer in Asia, is currently the ninth highest in the world, with 86,484 new cases of breast cancer among women in the country in 2020.