CHOP-based Pennsylvania Pediatric Medical Device Consortium Awards Seed Grants to Five Companies Developing Medical Devices for Children

Published on in CHOP News

The Pennsylvania Pediatric Medical Device Consortium (PPDC) has announced its latest round of seed grants to companies developing medical devices for children. The Consortium chose five projects from nine finalists in a competition to receive seed grants of up to $50,000 each.

The devices are a continuous, non-invasive respiratory distress monitor, a jaundice assessment tool, an IV infiltration detection wearable, a monitor to quantify changes in blood volume and a drug delivery system to prevent respiratory distress syndrome.

Funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and based at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the PPDC provides know-how and seed funding to help innovators translate promising ideas into commercialized medical devices for use in children. The PPDC is a collaboration involving CHOP, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine of the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pennsylvania.

The new round of awards is the tenth by the PPDC, following seed grants announced in February 2015, January 2016, January 2017, October 2017, July 2018, May 2019, February 2020, March 2021, and January 2022.

“I'm excited that the methods and approaches we have at the PPDC are helping pediatric device innovators,” said Robert J. Levy, MD, attending cardiologist in the Cardiac Center at CHOP, the William J. Rashkind Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiology at CHOP and the Consortium’s Principal Investigator. 

Disati Medical of Boston, MA is developing a device to improve the management of pediatric respiratory distress, a leading cause of pediatric hospital visits and admissions. Despite the availability of respiratory rate and blood oxygen monitors, subjective assessment of the effort a patient uses to breathe remains the most predictive marker of pediatric respiratory distress and failure. Disati's device will provide continuous, non-invasive, objective respiratory effort monitoring so clinicians have reliable bedside tools to better determine patients' respiratory care needs.

bili ruler Little Sparrows Technologies of Woburn, MA is developing innovative solutions to address jaundice in neonatal patients. The bili-rulerTM is an icterometer showing a series of yellow swatches of increasing intensity that correlate to ranges of serum bilirubin levels and help determine the severity of jaundice. This simple, handheld device allows a frontline health worker to assess jaundice in a pediatric patient.

Dr. Omer Inan and Dr. Samer Mabrouk of Georgia Institute of Technology are receiving support for the DetectIV, a wearable patch for intravenous (IV) infiltration detection. IV infiltrations can be especially serious in pediatric patients, who often have limited capacity to clearly communicate issues with their IV. There is a need for early, automated detection of infiltration events in pediatric patients. DetectIV is intended to aid in the detection of peripheral IV infiltrations and extravasations by continuously monitoring the IV site and notifying healthcare providers of increased risk of infiltration as early as possible.

VoluMetrix of Nashville, TN is developing the NIVA Pediatric Monitor to determine changes in patient blood volume. Early identification of significant surgical hemorrhage in pediatric patients is challenging, as changes in vital signs often do not occur until significant blood loss. The ability of clinicians to maintain adequate fluid resuscitation during pediatric surgical procedures is limited by a lack of appropriate monitoring. The NIVA Pediatric Monitor non-invasively acquires peripheral venous signals from a wrist sensor for analysis and quantification of volume.

William Fox, MD, an attending neonatologist in the Division of Neonatology at CHOP is creating a drug delivery device for pediatric respiratory care. Current standards of pediatric respiratory care involve invasive intubation and conventional mechanical ventilation, which can induce airway trauma and long-term complications such as chronic lung diseases. This device aims to prevent these long-term complications.

Applications for PPDC funding opportunities are accepted from throughout the U.S. The Consortium also accepts applications year-round for in-kind services and expert advice.

For more information on the PPDC, visit

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