Tyler Thayer   |   January 21, 2017

Project Heart’s 2016 Grant Recipient – Congratulations, Dr. Tom Doyle!


Project Heart’s 2016 CHD research grant was awarded to Dr. Tom Doyle and his research team at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN.

Dr. Doyle and his colleagues, Dr. Dana Janssen and Dr. George Nicholson, will be using the $30,000 grant to further their research in using a catheterization based device to replace open-heart surgery. Phase 1 of the project was funded by the NIH and the team was able to develop a unique vascular stent designed to keep the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) open. Keeping this ductus open is often critical in providing blood flow to the lungs or body in children with certain types of congenital heart defects. Current procedures utilize off label equipment not designed specifically for the heart. The fragile heart tissues may become damaged as these off label stents are removed in future procedures. The phase 1 prototype of Dr. Doyle’s team’s device was successful in animal trials. The next phase of the project will improve upon the device design and delivery method in animal trials in the hopes of making the device available to patients. When available to patients, the device can radically change how we treat children with certain congenital heart defects in their first days of life. It may help eliminate the need for some invasive initial open-heart surgeries shortly after birth like, for example, the Norwood procedure in some children.

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