Pennsylvania Pediatric Medical Device Consortium

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The Pennsylvania Pediatric Medical Device Consortium (PPDC), formerly the Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium, is a collaboration sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration. The PPDC connects Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and sciVelo, both based at the University of Pittsburgh.

The PPDC organizational structure includes a clinical and scientific advisory committee composed of pediatric specialists and engineers from participating institutions who provide assistance for PPDC projects. The oversight committee of the PPDC is composed of business executives and investors who are responsible for providing commercial support and final approval of all funding to consortium projects.

The PPDC leadership includes Robert Levy, MD, principal investigator, chair of the clinical and scientific advisory committee, and professor of Pediatrics, CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania; Matthew Maltese, PhD, executive director and CSO, X-Biomedical Inc.; Shahram Hejazi, PhD, chair of the oversight committee, and partner, BioAdvance; and William Wagner, PhD, co-chair of the clinical and scientific advisory committee, and director and professor, the McGowan Institute, University of Pittsburgh.

Since its founding in 2013, the PPDC has provided both guidance and seed funding for a range of pediatric products, including an airway clearance system, a powered arm brace, a speech-generating communication system, a vision acuity test for preverbal children, and a portable phototherapy device for newborns with neonatal jaundice. It has assisted more than 90 innovative projects, and over the past five years, the PPDC has awarded 16 seed grants of up to $50,000 each to companies in Pennsylvania and beyond.

In addition to the annual round of seed grants, the PPDC accepts applications at all times for in-kind services and expert advice.

Research Project Highlights

  • Dymedso Inc. of Montreal, Canada, is developing a non-percussive acoustic airway clearance device specifically designed for infants and young children with lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis. The device uses sound waves for chest physiotherapy, which is more appropriate for toddlers and infants than clapping or percussive treatment.
  • Jason Van Batavia, MD, of CHOP is creating a home device for pediatric patients and their families to keep track of urinary flow rates and patterns. Real-time biofeedback is invaluable for the treatment of dysfunctional voiding. Data will be sent wirelessly to a smart phone or tablet and will be visualized in a mobile app. The patient’s physician will also be able to remotely monitor the progress of the patient’s treatment.
  • Kite Medical of Galway, Ireland, is developing a device to detect vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) in children. VUR is a condition that can potentially lead to kidney damage. Current diagnostic procedures require catheterization and radiation exposure. This device could offer a noninvasive, child-friendly alternative.
  • Oculogica Inc. of New York City is creating an eye-tracking based test to noninvasively and instantaneously assess intracranial pressure (ICP) in under four minutes. Quick and accurate detection of ICP in children following a traumatic brain injury could facilitate timely treatment and prevent further injury.
  • Ostiio LLC of Philadelphia is developing a novel device for distraction osteogenesis (DO) within the cranio-maxillofacial skeleton. For many years, DO has been used to correct congenital skeletal defects by promoting the growth of new bone. Unlike current DO methods, the Ostiio device would be fully internalized and remote-controlled, thereby decreasing the risk of infection, and improving patient and surgeon satisfaction.
  • The Vifant Vifant LLC of Philadelphia is developing a digital platform that identifies vision acuity impairment in preverbal children. Waiting to treat visual impairment until children are old enough to verbally communicate may result in reduced early learning development or blindness. This device could enable physicians and parents to be proactive about their child’s vision health without the need for verbal communication with the child.