Carnegie Mellon University
October 13, 2020

Innovation with Heart

With a pioneering device, alumnus Jamie Quinterno and PECA Labs are changing the way the world performs heart surgery

By Amanda S.F. Hartle

When alumnus Jamie Quinterno decided to become a Tartan, he never imagined he was taking his first step in revolutionizing pediatric heart surgery.

But that’s exactly what his biomedical company PECA Labs is doing — with an eye toward using their disruptive technology to change cardiothoracic and vascular surgery for adults, too.

“When children are born with congenital heart defects, they call it the snowflake syndrome because each and every malformation is unique,” says Jamie, who serves as the company’s chief operations officer and 2012 graduate of Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Our device design process focuses on helping the hundreds of thousands of children born each year with congenital defects.” 

The company’s portfolio consists of devices for both pediatric and adult markets in various stages of design and testing, and their exGraft Radiopaque Vascular Graft is currently in use in the United States and Europe. PECA’s product range is designed to replace malformed natural anatomy in a child with congenital defects or insufficient anatomical function in adults. Other technologies, currently in development include future device iterations with the potential to reduce the repeated, traumatic open-heart surgeries a child must undergo as their heart grows from newborn to age 18.

While their product is revolutionary, PECA Labs began like many other startups: in a dorm room during a conversation between friends.

Read More about Quinterno’s work