Primarily “George Berci” Lab is dedicated to surgical training. During the last few years it started to play a significant role in the education of surgery and other manual fields of medicine. Our one and two-days long laparoscopic courses became very popular among trainees and experienced specialists as well. The famous laparoscopic suturing training program is built up from FLS simulations through isolated animal organs to living animal models. This possibility serves the needs of a lot of Hungarian physicians who could not afford to travel abroad for taking part in such courses. Beside general surgeons, urologists, gynecologist and endoscopic specialists are also attending the programs.
In 2013 as a significant result of cooperation between the different medical fields on behalf of the Hungarian Surgical Society an unique congress was organized for laparo-endoscopic specialists with more than 300 participants from more than 20 countries worldwide. It confirms the special status of our lab that participants came from all neighboring countries (Wienna, Linz Austria; Kassa Slovakia, Temesvar Romania, etc.). In 2014 Budapest hosted the 49th Congress of the European Society of Surgical Research and our Lab provided the place for the precongress hands-on training course.
Parallel to training and education “George Berci” Lab provides ideal location for scientific research. Many spin-off companies, startups, and even international representatives (Aesculap, Bowa, Cook, Covidien, Storz etc.) from the surgical/medical research and development sector took the chance of the facility. There are two main areas of R&D. One of them is nanotechnology. During the last few years more than 150 experiments have been performed on nanodrug development with association of a specialist, Seroscience Ltd., focusing on a new kind of adverse reaction so called Complement-activation Related Pseudoallergy (CARPA). Pigs appeared to be a unique lab animal based on their hypersensitivity against nanoparticules.
Other area is the surgical and other medical device development in their last preclinical phase before surgical implantation. We are in cooperation with successful, EU granted companies like Atractor Ltd., a forrunners in the field of implantable medical holsters and other devices. Our lab gives place for their earlier and ongoing experiments that are representing the top level of medical engineering. We take part in smaller but promising research programs like developing new kind of laparoscopic tools, endoscopic instruments, laser beam technologies, hemostatic agents, evaluation of new technology of urinary sphincter device implantation, treatment of perianal fistulas, and in the Intestinal Protective Agents study. Researchers are coming from different parts of the world like Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, USA, Singapore etc.
Among others we have an extensive cooperation with ACMIT on the field of “Hand hygiene control”. This project includes scientific coordination of accredited training program and materials preparation, pre-clinical evaluation of Hand-in-Scan 2.0 in the medical environment, and scientific promotion of the results. The result of this project will be the objective, categorized feed-back from medical students and medical experts related to the use of Hand-in-Scan. Their scrub technique and results will be added to a large database, serving for the validation of the “Hand-in-Scan method”. Critical investigation of these experimental data will result in important practical guidelines of hand disinfection and help the routine implementation of “Hand-in-Scan training and technique”.
The level of activity in the Lab almost doubled in every year.
Establishing a large animal facility was an absolute requirement from the point of view of modern surgical education and research. It is well known how such institutes help in the process of surgery in other part of Europe like IRCAD in Strasbourg, France or CCIMJU in Caceres, Spain. Under the control of animal welfare organizations we have to declare that in the medical field we cannot imagine fast processing without preclinical studies carried out by the usage of lab animals. Large animals play key role in the field or surgery. After the successful starting years of our Lab Semmelweis University decided to support our efforts and our facility development forward with an investment of cca. 500 000 which will be spent on a significant expansion of the instrumentation. By this investment “George Berci” Lab is going to be equipped on 21th century level and will run a 4×4 week intensive course for trainees of surgery and other manual field, in which more than hundred residents will be involved. Based on the international interest on our laparoscopic courses we organize them with a wider access.
With our partners in R&D and with the background of Semmelweis University think tank we formed an environment of good science, and the foundation of being successful as further members of international cooperation.
The facility is unique on its own in Hungary and we would like to play a significant role in Central Europe. Our main goal for the near future is to develop our laboratory according to the requirements of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP).