Healing Lungs

Advancing technologies that help patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) oxygenate their blood, without further straining ARDS patients' lungs.

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Address gaps in ARDS treatment by developing innovative technologies that enable oxygen delivery and gas exchange for severe ARDS patients, prevent secondary lung injury, and do not resort to mechanical ventilation or positive air pressure systems.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients not responding to mechanical ventilation are placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as a last resort.

This intervention remains labor-intensive, costly, high risk, and is only available at a few specialized centers. DRIVe envisions improved access to affordable, effective, and safe treatment options like ECMO that can be administered outside of the intensive care unit, for severe ARDS patients.

Healing Lungs seeks to develop next-generation ECMO advances and oxygen delivery vehicles superior to currently available interventions.

Program Goals

Enhance Therapeutic Options for ARDS

Develop novel injectable compounds for oxygen delivery and CO2 removal from blood

Make ECMO Safer

Enhance ECMO circuit components to lower likelihood of clot formation

Make ECMO More Widely Available

Demonstrate miniaturization of individual ECMO components towards developing a more portable unit

Healing Lungs






Funding Closes



Will proposals advancing mechanical ventilation technology be considered under this program?

No. Approaches relying on positive or negative air pressure systems and mechanical ventilation, or aerosol or gas inhalation are not responsive to this funding solicitation.

What stage of technology development does this program consider?

Projects proposed should have reached a minimum technology readiness level of 3 (TRL 3). Proposals for basic research projects that have not achieved preclinical proof of concept level of development will not be considered.

Is this program open to teaming efforts and joint proposal submissions?

Yes. Collaborations between groups with different areas of expertise and willingness to test respective technologies in combination with the innovations of others to assess their synergistic potential is encouraged.

Should I request a market research call with DRIVe to discuss my proposed project before submitting an abstract?

Yes. Interested parties that do not submit this request will not be eligible for consideration. The request should be sent to HealingLungs@hhs.gov and include the project title, key project staff, and a brief description of the proposed project.

Are FDA engagement and commercialization plans required for Healing Lungs projects?

Regulatory and commercial strategies beyond the proposed study are desirable but not required.

Is this program interested in tools that improve monitoring the coagulation status of ECMO patients?

Although new advances in this field may support improvements in the safety of ECMO patients, these technologies are not currently included under the Healing Lungs program.

Will proposals for novel systemic anticoagulant drugs be considered?

No. Systemic anticoagulant drugs are out of scope under this area of interest (AOI).

Looking for General FAQ?

Healing Lungs program is open until Feb 3, 2023