Philadelphia consortium funds three companies developing pediatric devices

The Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium is bankrolling a trio of startups developing an arm brace that boosts weak nerve signals, a rapid fluid-delivery system for emergencies and a device that corrects deformed ears in babies.

Cambridge, MA-based Myomo is working on a myoelectric arm orthosis to support a weak or deformed arm. The MyoPro orthosis uses sensors to detect electrical signals generated by muscle cells in the biceps and triceps in the upper arm and in the flexor and extensor muscle groups in the forearm, according to the company. When the user moves, these signals are amplified, driving small motors in the device that allow the user to perform movements, such as flexing and extending an elbow.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia-based EarGear uses silicon conformers to reshape infants’ ears, correcting a deformity over time. Its product would be an alternative to expensive and painful surgeries.

Finally, Durham, NC’s 410 Medical is developing a hand-powered infuser that facilitates the rapid delivery of fluids to critically ill or injured patients. The device addresses problems with intravenous access and resistance to rapid flow that can dog physicians and responders trying to deliver fluids. The company is working on a second version of the device for the quick administration of blood products in patients who are hemorrhaging. It will use its grant to propel research supporting an FDA application for blood delivery.

Each company will receive $50,000 in funding from the consortium, which comprises the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. This is the third year the consortium has awarded seed grants. Past recipients include Actuated Medical, which is working on a device to improve bone biopsies in children, and OtoNexus, which is developing a hand-held ultrasound device for the diagnosis of middle ear infections.