RasLabs receives grant to develop polymer based material for pediatric prostheses

The Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium has awarded RasLabs of Hingham, Mass. a grant to develop a material that could improve the fit and comfort of pediatric prostheses.

RasLabs has created a polymer-based material that could improve the interface between a child’s prosthetic limb and residual limb. The material contracts and expands like muscle, in response to low-voltage electricity. It is used to line the socket of the pediatric-sized artificial leg or other limb which provides a more snug fit. The device is in its early stages of development.

The Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium (PPDC), based at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and funded by the FDA, provides know-how and seed funding. The PPDC provided a $25,000 grant to RasLabs after they responded to the request for proposals in June 2014. RasLabs was one of 19 innovators to respond.

“Our request for proposals sought projects from academia and industry from around the globe,” Matthew R. Maltese, PhD, bioengineer for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the PPDC’s executive director and principal investigator, stated in a press release. “All projects we rigorously reviewed by our clinic and industry experts, and we are excited to fund these innovators of promising medical devices for children.”

The PPDC was awarded a 5-year, $1.5 million grant from the FDA in September 2013. In March, the PPDC plans to issue the next request for proposals for the opportunity to fund another innovator.

“While this finding program is competitive,” Maltese stated. “The PPDC also offers noncompetitive in-kind support to innovators with medical device technologies for the pediatric population.”

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