Navigation Links
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Involved in Projects To Develop Nation's First Heart Assist Devices for Young Children
Date:4/3/2008

Heart Center experts helping to develop first implantable and external

pediatric heart pumps

PITTSBURGH, April 3, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC -- a national leader in the use of lifesaving ventricular assist devices (VADs) for children in heart failure -- is part of a collaboration that recently has been awarded a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop an external heart pump designed specifically for small children.

VADs are mechanical devices that take over the pumping action of the heart and offer lifesaving support, most often acting as a bridge to keep patients alive until a donor heart becomes available for transplantation. There are VADs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in adults and larger adolescents in the United States, but none are designed and approved for use in infants and toddlers.

Cardiac experts in Children's Hospital's Heart Center currently are involved in two separate projects to develop external and implantable VADs. It is estimated that as many as 1,000 children annually may benefit from these technologies, according to Peter D. Wearden, MD, PhD, a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon and director of Pediatric Mechanical Cardiopulmonary Support at Children's.

"Unfortunately, because this is a relatively small market, companies that make medical devices historically have not focused their attention on pediatric VADs," Dr. Wearden said. "Because of this, our options for treating young children in heart failure have been extremely limited. Our hope is that these two projects will lead to the first pediatric devices being approved by the FDA for use in the United States."

Children's and medical device manufacturer Levitronix(R) LLC received a $2.3 million National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to complete development of, and to clinically test, the first external centrifugal pump designed specifically for infants and small children in heart failure.

The team currently is finalizing tests of this device in the laboratory and hopes to begin the clinical trial in the coming year. The device, known as the PediVAS (ventricular assist system), would be an external pump designed to support pediatric patients in heart failure for days to four weeks.

Dr. Wearden also is spearheading efforts to develop the first totally implantable pediatric VAD in the United States that could be used for longer periods of time than the external pump.

In the development of an implantable pediatric VAD known as PediaFlow, Children's team is partnering with two pioneers in cardiac support, Harvey S. Borovetz, PhD, deputy director, Artificial Organs and Medical Devices, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and chair, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh; and James Antaki, professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University.

Industry partners in the consortium include Launch Point Technologies (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and WorldHeart Corporation (Salt Lake City).

This project, also funded by the NIH (one of only five centers in the nation to receive NIH funding for such a project), has progressed through an intensive engineering design phase to successful testing in the laboratory. The consortium is entering the final year of the five-year NIH contract to develop the PediaFlow.

"Our dream for the PediaFlow -- which is about the size of a walnut -- is that it could be totally implanted into a child to support his or her heart until a donor could be located or until the heart function recovers," Dr. Wearden said. "The PediaFlow would be magnetically powered and potentially could support a child for as long as six months."

Under the leadership of Victor Morell, MD, chief of Children's Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Children's Heart Center has established itself as one of the most active and innovative centers in the care of children in heart failure in the country over the last two decades. Children's has performed more than 300 heart, heart-lung, lung and heart-liver transplants in children, including more than 200 heart transplants.

Children's is one of the world's most experienced centers in the use of VADs to support pediatric transplant patients awaiting donor hearts.

Until such time as a pediatric VAD is developed and approved for use, Children's is one of several hospitals in the United States to have asked for and been granted, on a case-by-case basis, approval from the FDA to implant the Berlin Heart Excor for compassionate use. Five patients at Children's have received Berlin Heart Excor devices and gone on to receive successful heart transplants. This VAD, developed in Germany, is an external pump that can be used in small children.

"We've been successful in using the Berlin Heart pump to keep young patients alive and healthy long enough for a donor heart to become available for transplant, and we are able to use adult pumps in our larger pediatric patients," Dr. Morell said. "But getting approval to use a Berlin Heart can be a complicated process, especially when a young child's survival is dependent on it. This funding from the NIH for these projects is so crucial to our efforts to develop a pediatric VAD for use here in the United States as additional options for the hundreds of kids who suffer heart failure each year."

For more information on Children's Heart and Heart-Lung Transplantation Program, please visit http://www.chp.edu/heartcenter.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Nautica Malibu Triathlon Presented by Toyota Raises $718,000 for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Pediatric Cancer Research
2. Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Turns Off the Tap With Green Earth Waterless Carwash
3. Siegel+Gale Designs New HOPE Portal for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
4. New research explores newborn in-hospital weight loss
5. NYC-area 1st: Morgan Stanley Childrens Hospital performs transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement
6. Norwalk virus: Cruise ship illness challenging and costly to hospitals, too
7. Glades General Hospital First in Palm Beach County to Provide On-Site Electronic Birth Registration
8. Billy Graham Home After Hospitalization:
9. Alvarado Hospital Files Countersuit Against Blue Shield
10. UHW Announces: Antelope Valley Hospital Caregivers and Board Vote to Ratify First Union Contract With SEIU UHW-West
11. Texas Supreme Court Rules Against Medicare HMOs in Hospital Reimbursement Fight
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/9/2016)... Heights, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) is recommending the film Whispering Spirits ... states and the District of Columbia as an education tool in the war against ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... 09, 2016 , ... An inventor from Cana, Va., wanted to fulfill the ... amusement park rides. , The patent-pending SAFETY STRAP FOR AMPUTEES improves accessibility. It eliminates ... be set up in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. The SAFETY STRAP ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... , ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... at The Pierre Hotel in New York, NY, on December 3rd, to benefit ... and physicians attended the annual event, which raised over $1 million - the ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... ... "I had a terrible time trying to get my grandson to use ... nebulizer had a more child-friendly design, then children would be more likely to look ... to avoid the need to deliver medication via a nebulizer mask. The design will ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Charleston, WV (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... that it will become Quality Insights beginning January 1, 2017. The name ... emphasizes its commitment to measuring and improving health care quality. , “We are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... DUBLIN , Dec 9, 2016 ... "High-Throughput Screening Market - Forecast to 2021" report to ... ... adoption of open innovative models in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology ... spending and rising government funding. Emerging markets and growing research ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... , Dec 9, 2016 Research and Markets ... 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... The global travel vaccines market to grow ... The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of ... size, the report considers the revenue generated from the sales of ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... LONDON , Dec. 8, 2016 Australia ... GlobalData,s new report, "Australia Ophthalmic Lasers Market Outlook to ... Lasers market. The report provides value, in millions of ... within market segements - Excimer Lasers, Femtosecond Lasers and ... and distribution shares data for each of these market ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: