From development to production
The idea of the cooling pants won over an innovative Swiss SME. Unico swiss tex GmbH, based in Alpnachstad, Canton Obwalden, recently bought from Empa the rights to produce cooling garments so called Cool Pads for MS sufferers, among other users. These products will become available in 2007. Very recently too, a joint study under Empa leadership has begun at the Rehabilitation Clinic in Valens to investigate the suitability of the cooling pants for everyday usage and their effectiveness.
«We are working continuously with Markus Hess of Unico swiss tex GmbH to further improve the system», says Rothmaier. One aspect of this is the search for materials with improved stretching properties which are easier to tailor. In addition plans are afoot to design cooling garments for other parts of the body, for the greater the cooled body area and the nearer it is to the wearers head, then the greater the evaporative cooling effect. Whether, in addition to the extremities, cooling the torso could also have beneficial effects in reducing MS symptoms is not yet certain and must first be clarified with elaborate tests. Rothmaiers team is preparing designs for suitable cooling garments for this purpose, to be presented in a few months.
Honored with the Serono Charity Grant 2006
The simple but extremely effective Empa idea was awarded the Serono Charity Grant 2006 at the beginning of September. Serono, a biotech company based in Geneva, is a pioneer in the fight against multiple sclerosis, offering an established therapeutic product to treat this progressive disease. The Serono Golf Charity, held for the third time in Ascona, collected over CHF150,000 of which the goodly sum of CHF25,000 was awarded to the Empa cooling garments project.
- Martina Peter, Communications Dept., Tel. +41 44 823 49 87,
Further technical information:
- Dr. Markus Rothmaier, Protection and Physiology Laboratory, Tel. +41 71 274 72 44,
- Markus Hess, UNICO swiss tex GmbH, Alpnachstad, Tel. +41 41 671 00 71,
- Bruno Waller, Serono Pharma Switzerland, Tel. +41 41 748 00 60