MPED Innovation Fellows win $50k in APDC competition


Press Release

November 9, 2015, Ann Arbor, MI

Pediatric innovation fellows from the University of Michigan won $50,000 in the 5th Annual Atlantic Pediatric Device Consortium (APDC) Innovation Competition. The APDC is an FDA-sponsored initiative between Georgia Tech, Emory University, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Virginia Commonwealth University. The mission of APDC is to enhance the lives of children through the development of novel pediatric medical devices that are both safe and effective.

The Michigan team, represented by Dr. Saja Al-Dujaili and Jonathon Campbell, presented their pitch to a panel of clinicians, engineers and investment experts. Their device, dubbed the BUDDY Button, is a low profile enteral feeding device for pediatric patients that provides superior fixation and ability to be customized for different patient sizes at bedside.

Enteral feeding provides a way for patients who cannot intake food orally to meet their nutritional requirements through a tube implanted in the patient’s abdomen. One of the main challenges for children is painful tube dislodgement, due to their high levels of activity. The BUDDY Button (patent pending) provides a more reliable fixation mechanism that also offers the ability for one device to accommodate all sizes of pediatric patients, ranging from babies to teenagers, by adjusting the tube size at bedside.

The team, which also includes Dr. Tina Thomas and Dr. Farokh Demehri, identified the need for the BUDDY Button during the Michigan Pediatric Device Consortium (M-PED) innovation fellowship, a one-year program that trains post-graduates from engineering and medicine in the innovation process.

“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of this team. They started out as four individuals with very distinct backgrounds and expertise, and came out of the fellowship being able to converse in the others’ language,” says M-PED Executive Director Dr. James Geiger. “Now, they have a great device that has strong potential for getting on the market. The APDC award affirms the merits of both the device and the team.”

In addition to the APDC Competition award, the team has been granted a Kickstart Award ($35,000) through Fast Forward Medical Innovation at the University of Michigan.


About the Pediatric Device Consortia:

The Atlantic Pediatric Device Consortium ( and the Michigan Pediatric Device Consortium ( are FDA-funded non-profit consortia that bring together individuals and institutions to support pediatric medical device progression through all stages of development—concept formation, prototyping, preclinical, clinical, manufacturing, marketing, and commercialization. Each consortium supports a mix of projects at all stages of development, particularly the later stages of clinical, manufacturing, and marketing.


Media Contact Information:

Saja Al-Dujaili, PhD