Transforming Ideas Into Pediatric Medical Devices

The Philadelphia Regional Pediatric Medical Device Consortium (PPDC), which brings engineers and biomedical researchers from CHOP, Drexel University, and the University of Pennsylvania to address the shortage of medical devices designed for children, recently received a $1.5 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The PPDC provides "innovators with the support they need to transform concepts into practical and available medical devices that benefit children," said Children's Hospital bioengineer Matthew Maltese, PhD, principal investigator of the PPDC.

One of seven pediatric device consortia nationwide recently funded by the FDA, the consortium will provide seed funding and clinical, business, and regulatory expertise to help translate innovative ideas into commercial devices for use in young patients.

Robert Levy, MD, who holds William J. Rashkind Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiology at CHOP and is a co-principal investigator of the PPDC, sees opportunities to help children, saying that the consortium "will help to address unmet needs for pediatric medical devices."

Dr. Levy's medical device experience is reflected in his 35 issued U.S. patents that have led to extensive licensing activities, both to established medical device companies and to start-ups. An example is the CHOP spinout firm, Vascular Magnetics, which is developing magnetically guided devices to precisely deliver drugs to injured arteries in children and adults.

In addition, the PPDC will benefit from Dr. Maltese's experience with adapting medical devices for children in his position in Critical Care Medicine at CHOP. The Hospital is collaborating with industry partners to develop pediatric versions of existing FDA-approved cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) quality feedback tools developed for adults. These smartphone-sized devices measure motion and force on a patient's chest during CPR to rapidly produce sound and visual prompts that improve the quality of CPR and save lives.

To read more about the PPDC, see the full press release.