A University of Maryland School of Medicine researcher found a way for patients to take an artificial lung with them when they leave the hospital. In addition to taking pride in the research developed at the Baltimore-based campus, the university also sees business potential.
The “out-of-hospital” artificial lung, developed by Dr. Bartley Griffith, is at the heart of a University of Maryland BioPark-based startup called Breethe, Inc.
This week, University of Maryland’s commercialization arm announced a deal to license the technology to Breethe. UM Ventures is also investing $100,000, marking the second such financial backing the university has made to a company that started with university research. The investment was part of a seed round that the company closed in January.
Griffith is already a distinguished surgeon in heart and transplant surgery. With the new technology, he became a startup founder.
The device is thought to be the first wearable artificial lung that can be taken out of the hospital. In a statement, Griffith said there is a growing demand in the healthcare industry for technology that allows patients to be mobile.
“This is a device that could potentially take patients that are right now hospital-bound and ventilated, and let them leave the hospital and let them resume a fairly normal function,” said UM Ventures Chief Commercialization Officer Phil Robilotto.
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