Archive for September 8th, 2012

Page 1 of 212

Walking to a Beat May Improve Gait of Parkinson’s Patients

Walking to a Beat May Improve Gait of Parkinson’s Patients

Walking to a Beat May Improve Gait of Parkinson’s Patients

PITTSBURGH—Walking to a beat could be useful for patients needing rehabilitation, according to a University of Pittsburgh study. The findings, highlighted in the August issue of PLOS One, demonstrate that researchers should further investigate the potential of auditory, visual, and tactile cues in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from illnesses like Parkinson’s Disease—a brain disorder leading to shaking (tremors) and difficulty walking.Ervin Sejdic, an assistant professor of engineering in Pitt’s Swanson School of EngineeringErvin Sejdic, an assistant professor of engineering in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering

Together with a team of collaborators from abroad, Ervin Sejdic, an assistant professor of engineering in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, studied the effects of various metronomic stimuli (a mechanically produced beat) on fifteen healthy adults, ages 18 to 30. Walkers participated in two sessions consisting of five 15-minute trials in which the participants walked with different cues.

In the first, participants walked at their preferred walking speed. Then, in subsequent trials, participants were asked to walk to a metronomic beat, produced by way of visuals, sound, or touch. Finally, participants were asked to walk with all three cues simultaneously, the pace of which was set to that of the first trial.

“We found that the auditory cue had the greatest influence on human gait, while the visual cues had no significant effect whatsoever,” said Sejdic. “This finding could be particularly helpful for patients with Parkinson’s Disease, for example, as auditory cues work very well in their rehabilitation.”

Sejdic said that with illnesses like Parkinson’s Disease, a big question is whether researchers can better understand the changes that come with this deterioration. Through their study, the Pitt team feels that visual cues could be considered as an alternative modality in rehabilitation and should be further explored in the laboratory.

“Oftentimes, a patient with Parkinson’s Disease comes in for an exam, completes a gait assessment in the laboratory, and everything is great,” said Sejdic. “But then, the person leaves and falls down. Why? Because a laboratory is a strictly controlled environment. It’s flat, has few obstacles, and there aren’t any cues (like sound) around us. When we’re walking around our neighborhoods, however, there are sidewalks, as well as streetlights and people honking car horns: you have to process all of this information together. We are trying to create that real-life space in the laboratory.”

In the future, Sejdic and his team would like to conduct similar walking trials with patients with Parkinson’s Disease, to observe whether their gait is more or less stable.

“Can we see the same trends that we observed in healthy people?” he said. “And, if we observe the same trends, then that would have direct connotations to rehabilitation processes.”

Additionally, his team plans to explore the impact of music on runners and walkers.

Funding for this project was provided, in part, by the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Toronto, and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Walking is a complex, rhythmic task performed by the locomotor system. However, natural gait rhythms can be influenced by metronomic auditory stimuli, a phenomenon of particular interest in neurological rehabilitation. In this paper, we examined the effects of aural, visual and tactile rhythmic cues on the temporal dynamics associated with human gait. Data were collected from fifteen healthy adults in two sessions. Each session consisted of five 15-minute trials. In the first trial of each session, participants walked at their preferred walking speed. In subsequent trials, participants were asked to walk to a metronomic beat, provided through visually, aurally, tactile or all three cues (simultaneously and in sync), the pace of which was set to the preferred walking speed of the first trial. Using the collected data, we extracted several parameters including: gait speed, mean stride interval, stride interval variability, scaling exponent and maximum Lyapunov exponent. The extracted parameters showed that rhythmic sensory cues affect the temporal dynamics of human gait. The auditory rhythmic cue had the greatest influence on the gait parameters, while the visual cue had no statistically significant effect on the scaling exponent. These results demonstrate that visual rhythmic cues could be considered as an alternative cueing modality in rehabilitation without concern of adversely altering the statistical persistence of walking.

As almost every 80s song has pointed out, music has the power to move you. Turns out that for people with Parkinson’s, who move way more than they volunteer to, a solid beat may help improve their walking gait.

Researchers at University of Pittsburgh conducted a study involving healthy participants that used audio, tactile, and visual cues to deliver a constant beat from a metronome. Their walking was analyzed using a belt worn accelerometer and a sensor in the shoes while under each separate type of cue, none at all, and all together. The results indicate that an audio beat provides a significant effect on a person’s walk, while visual cues had almost no effect at all, and tactile was somewhere in the middle. The researchers believe that the findings point to conducting further studies with Parkinson’s patients for whom a controlled, regular walking gait could be of great benefit.

Source : http://www.news.pitt.edu/humangait

Full story

SinuSys AerOs Sinus Dilation System Gets CE Marking

SinuSys AerOs Sinus Dilation System Gets CE Marking

SinuSys AerOs Sinus Dilation System Gets CE Marking

ALTO, Calif. – September 6, 2012 – SinuSys Corporation, an innovative sinus health company, today announced that the Company has received CE Mark for its AerOs™ Sinus Dilation System, designed to gently open the sinus ostia, thereby restoring natural sinus drainage and ventilation using a simple, two-step interventional approach. The Company has shipped devices to the United Kingdom in the first phase of its European commercialization strategy, while it completes its initial clinical study in Canada and awaits a response to its FDA 510(k) submission.

Unlike balloon dilation devices that use rapid, high-pressure inflation, the AerOs Sinus Dilation System is a low pressure, self-expanding insert designed to gently and gradually open the maxillary ostia (openings that connect a sinus to the nasal cavity.) The AerOs device incorporates the Company’s proprietary osmotic technology, which utilizes the body’s natural fluids to expand the insert. After the ostia are opened, the insert is removed. The low-pressure, gradual expansion and simplicity of the device are designed to make it compatible for use in office-based procedures under local anesthesia.

“In our current clinical study of patients treated in the operating room, the AerOs System is demonstrating the attributes that may make it a tool of choice to treat chronic sinusitis in an office setting. The device is simple to use and its low-pressure expansion should be well-tolerated by patients under local anesthesia,” said Dr. Amin Javer, Director of the University of British Columbia Sinus Centre. “Ultimately, this may allow us to treat sinus disease earlier in its progression to help a broader range of patients.”

“Our CE Mark demonstrates the significant momentum we are generating leading toward a global presence,” said SinuSys Chief Executive Officer Thomas Schreck. “We are enthusiastic about commercialization of the AerOs System for otolaryngologists and their sinusitis patients in Europe. At the same time, we plan to expand application of our technology into other devices that can address the multi-factorial nature of sinus disease, including devices for the frontal and sphenoid sinuses.”

About Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis affects more than 31 million people in the United States. It is more prevalent than heart disease and asthma, and has a greater impact on patients’ quality of life than chronic back pain or congestive heart failure. The U.S. healthcare system currently spends more than $8 billion annually on improving the health of patients with sinus conditions. However, approximately 20 percent of sinusitis patients do not experience adequate relief from current pharmaceutical treatments, which can have unpleasant side effects even when effective. For these patients, the most effective treatments to-date have been Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) and high-pressure balloon dilation, which can cause significant patient discomfort and are conducted in a surgical suite under general anesthesia or IV sedation.

About SinuSys Corp.

SinuSys Corp. (www.sinusys.com) develops medical device therapies to improve the health of millions of patients suffering from chronic sinusitis worldwide. The company’s proprietary self-expanding, osmotic technology is designed to be atraumatic, tissue-sparing and easy to use, potentially enabling clinicians to intervene at earlier stages of sinus disease. The company seeks to provide improved options for the 20 percent of sinusitis patients whose disease is not resolved with drug therapy.

Expanding treatment options for sinusitis

The SinuSys AerOs System delivers simple, highly-tolerable sinus dilation

via unique osmotic self-expanding technology.

Simple two-step insertion and removal

Gradual, low-pressure osmotic expansion in less than 60 minutes

Demonstrated lasting patency 1

Compatible with office-based procedures under local anesthetic

Expandable technology for future ENT applications

SinuSys Corporation (Palo Alto, CA) has received the go-ahead in the EU to market its AerOs Sinus Dilation System, a device developed for opening up the sinus ostia to restore proper drainage and ventilation.

SinuSys AerOs tip SinuSys AerOs Sinus Dilation System Gets CE Marking (video)The company lauds the AerOs for its slow expansion, unlike balloon dilators that can be uncomfortable and may require general anesthesia. The tiny device is inserted by the physician and set to expand, while the patient plays a round of Angry Birds, and sixty minutes later it has fully expanded and ready for removal.

More from SinuSys:

The Company has shipped devices to the United Kingdom in the first phase of its European commercialization strategy, while it completes its initial clinical study in Canada and awaits a response to its FDA 510(k) submission.

The AerOs device incorporates the Company’s proprietary osmotic technology, which utilizes the body’s natural fluids to expand the insert.

Simple two-step insertion and removal

Gradual, low-pressure osmotic expansion in less than 60 minutes

Demonstrated lasting patency

Compatible with office-based procedures under local anesthetic

Expandable technology for future ENT applications

Source : http://sinusys.com/sinusys-receives-ce-mark-for-aeros-sinus-diiation-system-completes-fda-510k-submission/

Full story

NeuroSigma’s Monarch eTNS System for Epilepsy, Depression Cleared in Europe

NeuroSigma’s Monarch eTNS System for Epilepsy, Depression Cleared in Europe

NeuroSigma’s Monarch eTNS System for Epilepsy, Depression Cleared in Europe

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — NeuroSigma, Inc., a Los Angeles-based medical device company, announced today that it received CE Certification for its external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS™) system, called the Monarch™, for the adjunctive treatment of epilepsy and major depressive disorder, for adults and children 9 years and older. NeuroSigma’s approval was supported by years of safety and compelling efficacy data generated in clinical trials conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC).

The eTNS system will be sold under prescription from a physician in the European Union (EU). It is composed of an external pulse generator and disposable electric patches placed on the forehead that are replaced daily. The patches can be worn primarily in the evening while asleep. In clinical studies, eTNS was well tolerated and has been shown to substantially reduce seizures in patients with epilepsy and improve mood in patients with depression.

Planning is underway for the introduction of this treatment at major EU epilepsy and depression centers. NeuroSigma is establishing a marketing, sales, and distribution infrastructure for a fourth quarter 2012 product launch in the EU.

Epilepsy and depression are major health concerns in the EU, with approximately 4 million people suffering epilepsy and 20 million experiencing clinical depression.

“We are proud to successfully complete the CE marking process. It is a major milestone for NeuroSigma and will enhance our efforts to transform the way epilepsy and depression are managed. I would like to thank all of our employees, suppliers, clinical trial sites and consultants for their hard work and all our investors for their support,” said Lodwrick Cook, Chairman of NeuroSigma.

“As a company, we are committed to making eTNS affordable and widely available in the EU,” added Leon Ekchian, Ph.D., President and CEO of NeuroSigma. “We are excited to begin the rollout of our commercialization strategy for patients suffering from epilepsy and depression. Simultaneously, we will seek to obtain approvals in other parts of the world. In the United States, we will be submitting a request to the FDA for an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) to commence a multi-center eTNS pivotal trial in epilepsy. Over thirty major centers in the US and Europe have expressed interest in being part of this pivotal trial.”

Trigeminal nerve stimulation was invented at UCLA and is exclusively licensed to NeuroSigma.

Dr. Christopher DeGiorgio, Vice-President of Neurology at NeuroSigma and Professor of Neurology at the UCLA School of Medicine, spearheaded clinical development of eTNS for epilepsy. “CE Certification of eTNS is one of the greatest moments of my life, marking the culmination of over 10 years of research. I wish to thank all of my colleagues at UCLA and USC, without whom this achievement would not have been possible, and recognize each and every patient in our clinical trials, who helped pioneer this breakthrough treatment. I am especially grateful to NeuroSigma’s management team for their faith in this technology and for their vision and commitment to patients suffering epilepsy and depression,” said Dr. DeGiorgio.

Clinical and human mechanism of action studies of eTNS in major depression were led by Ian A. Cook M.D., a Senior Medical Advisor to NeuroSigma and a Professor-in-Residence at the UCLA School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, where he serves as Director of the UCLA Depression Research and Clinic Program. “As a non-invasive neuromodulation therapy, trigeminal nerve stimulation may represent a paradigm shift in the way we treat major depression and offers the potential to significantly improve the lives of millions of people without the side-effects common to medication treatment,” said Dr. Cook.

Background – TNS

There are two embodiments of trigeminal nerve stimulation: eTNS™ (external electrodes and an external pulse generator, currently being commercialized) and sTNS™ (subcutaneous electrodes and implantable pulse generator, currently being developed). The eTNS system utilizes a customized self-adhesive conductive patch applied to the forehead to stimulate branches of the trigeminal nerve, which are located very close to the surface of the skin in the forehead. The low-energy stimulus is confined to the soft tissues of the forehead without direct penetration into the brain.

The trigeminal nerve is the largest cranial nerve, offering a high-bandwidth pathway for signals to enter the brain. The trigeminal nerve projects to specific areas of the brain, such as the locus coeruleus, nucleus tractus solitarius, thalamus and the cerebral cortex, which are involved in epilepsy, depression, PTSD, ADHD and other disorders. PET imaging studies in humans confirm that eTNS activates or inhibits key regions implicated in these disorders and the changes were observed within minutes of therapy. eTNS is a stand-alone therapy, but once approved by regulatory agencies, patients who respond well to eTNS may opt for the implantable sTNS system, which NeuroSigma is currently developing.

CAUTION: In the United States, both eTNS™ and sTNS™ are investigational devices and are limited by Federal (or United States) law to investigational use.

About NeuroSigma, Inc.

NeuroSigma is a Los Angeles-based medical technology company established to develop early stage technologies with the potential to transform medical practice. Currently, NeuroSigma is focused on a number of neuromodulation therapies and through its majority-owned subsidiary, NSVascular, Inc., on Thin-Film Nitinol covered stents for endovascular applications. NeuroSigma employs two neuromodulation therapy platforms: Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS) and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). NeuroSigma has amassed significant intellectual property licensed on an exclusive basis from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), including potential therapies for epilepsy, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) via TNS, and for PTSD and obesity via DBS. For more information about NeuroSigma, please visit www.neurosigma.com.

Forward-Looking Safe Harbor Statement:

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, research and development outcomes, efficacy, adverse reactions, market and product potential, product availability and other statements regarding our eTNS™ and sTNS™ systems. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the Company’s expectations and projections. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, general industry and medical device market conditions; technological advances and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in the research and development and regulatory processes; challenges related to new product marketing, such as the unpredictability of market acceptance for new medical device products; inconsistency of treatment results among patients; potential difficulties in manufacturing a new product; general economic conditions; and governmental laws and regulations affecting domestic and foreign operations.

Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS) is a novel medical treatment in which mild electrical signals stimulate branches of the trigeminal nerve (the largest cranial nerve) in order to modulate the activity of targeted brain regions. NeuroSigma is developing two embodiments of TNS: eTNSTM (TNS with external electrodes and an external pulse generator) and sTNSTM (subcutaneous electrodes and implantable pulse generator).

The trigeminal nerve conveys information to important structures in the brain, including the nucleus solitarius, the locus coeruleus, the vagus nerve and the cerebral cortex. These areas are known to play key roles in seizure inhibition and initiation. The trigeminal nerve also specifically sends signals to the anterior cingulate cortex, which is involved in mood, attention and decision-making.

Clinical trials are currently in progress for epilepsy, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A clinical trial in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will soon be starting.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging studies in humans have identified a potential mechanism of action for the treatment of epilepsy, depression and other brain disorders. eTNSTM activates or inhibits key regions implicated in these disorders and changes in blood flow were observed with minutes of therapy.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy affects over three million Americans. Over one million of these people have drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), which frequently leads to unemployment, injuries and carries a significantly increased risk of death.

There is growing interest in neuromodulation therapies for epilepsy. Trigeminal nerve stimulation is an emerging and promising therapy with unique advantages relative to other current therapies: it can be delivered externally, bilaterally, at competitive costs and with potentially lower risks.

Stimulation of the trigeminal nerve and its related structures have been shown to inhibit seizures in animal models. Human trials have been conducted at UCLA for nearly ten years. A randomized, active-controlled, double-blind, dual-center study at UCLA and USC was completed in April, 2011. Phase III clinical trials are currently in the planning stages.

Depression

Eighteen million adults in the United States suffer from depression and at least half of these people do not seek the necessary treatment.

Major depression is a severe form of depression. People with major depression usually experience a sad or depression mood and/or a loss of interest or pleasure in life’s joyful activities. Often the experience also includes physical symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, low energy, changes in appetite, and fatigue. These symptoms, plus difficulties with concentration, memory, and decision-making, can cause depression to interfere with a person’s normal functioning in life, whether in the workplace, in school, or with family and friends.

A person may experience only one episode of major depression, but often there are repeated episodes over an individual’s lifetime. About one in six people will experience at least one major depressive episode during their life. Depression affects people of all races, incomes, ages, and ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Trigeminal nerve stimulation for depression has been studied at UCLA for several years, with positive research findings published in 2011. A Phase II, double-blind clinical trial is in progress with expected completion in late 2011.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened.

Patients with this illness commonly report difficulty sleeping, persistent frightening recollections of the traumatic event, sudden outbursts of anger or anxiety, feeling detached or numb, avoidance of people or places that are reminders of the experience, as well as many other debilitating reactions. PTSD is a highly prevalent lifetime disorder that can often persist for years.

The Veterans Administration (VA) reports that 400,000 veterans are currently receiving compensation for PTSD and they expect the number to grow higher as long as the U.S. still has troops deployed in combat around the world.

A Phase I, open-label clinical trial of trigeminal nerve stimulation for PTSD is currently recruiting at UCLA.

CAUTION: Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS) is an investigational therapy and limited by United States law for investigational use.

893fjjj Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation for Epilepsy Management Proving Itself in Latest TrialA group of investigators under Dr. Christopher DeGiorgio, a neurology professor at UCLA, has reported promising results of a phase 2 clinical trial of trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) for controlling drug resistant epilepsy. DeGiorgio, a lead inventor of the technology that is being co-developed with California-based NeuroSigma, Inc., has been investigating its benefits for patients at least since 2006 when we first reported on it. The latest trial has shown that 40% of patients treated with the system had a significant reduction in seizure frequency.

The external stimulator, which is about the size of a large cell phone, attaches to a belt or can slip into a pocket. Wires from the stimulator are passed under the clothing and connected to conductive pads attached to the forehead. The electrodes, which can be covered by a cap or scarf, transmit a signal to the trigeminal nerve, which extends into the brain from the face and forehead and is known to play a role in seizure inhibition.

“TNS offers potential benefits — it can be delivered bilaterally (to both sides of the brain) and at high frequencies,” DeGiorgio said. “Since the electrical energy does not travel directly into the brain, TNS provides a safe method of brain modulation.”

The clinical trial showed that at the end of the 18-week study, 40 percent of patients receiving TNS experienced a significant improvement in seizure reduction, which is defined as a 50 percent or greater decrease in the frequency of seizures.

In addition, the researchers found that the TNS treatment also improved the mood of the participants. Since depression is a common problem in people with epilepsy, this finding could have significant impact on the quality of life of people who suffer from the disorder.

Source : http://www.neurosigma.com/tns.html

Full story

New bebionic3 Prosthetic Hand Now Available

New bebionic3 Prosthetic Hand Now Available

New bebionic3 Prosthetic Hand Now Available (video)

RSLSteeper out of Leeds, UK was showing off a new version of the company’s bebionic prosthetic hand at the recent ORTHOPÄDIE + REHA-TECHNIK World Congress & Trade Show in Leipzig, Germany. The bebionic3 is still in preview mode and not much information is available, but the company has released a video from the trade show demonstrating the device:

The official world launch of the all NEW bebionic3 hand takes place at the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association 2012 National Assembly, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston from 6th to 9th September 2012.

The innovative new hand offers significant improvements over the existing bebionic, including a revolutionary new design, and advanced new materials that make it more durable, whilst improving the grip, strength and accuracy. In addition, the hand features significant aesthetic improvements, smart electronics, and all new software that enhances both functionality and ease of use.

RSLSteeper anticipates that the launch of this third generation of bebionic hand will prove very popular with clinicians and end users in markets worldwide.

Paul Steeper, Managing Director of RSLSteeper Products Division, said:

“bebionic3 is the culmination of many years of development, and has the potential to revolutionise the lives of amputees from across the world. We have been able to make significant improvements to a design that was already the world’s most advanced myo-electric hand, making it stronger, more precise and easier to programme.

“The new hand has been designed to help amputees to tackle real-life, everyday situations, and provides the perfect balance between advanced technology, functionality and aesthetics.”

bebionic3 features naturally compliant grip patterns and a lifelike appearance. The hand also features customisable grip speed, patterns and strength that can be wirelessly programmed and tailored to suit each individual user’s requirements, via the all-new bebalance software.

The official world launch of the all NEW bebionic3 hand takes place at the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association 2012 National Assembly, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston from 6th to 9th September 2012.

The innovative new hand offers significant improvements over the existing bebionic, including a revolutionary new design, and advanced new materials that make it more durable, whilst improving the grip, strength and accuracy. In addition, the hand features significant aesthetic improvements, smart electronics, and all new software that enhances both functionality and ease of use.

RSLSteeper anticipates that the launch of this third generation of bebionic hand will prove very popular with clinicians and end users in markets worldwide.

Paul Steeper, Managing Director of RSLSteeper Products Division, said:

“bebionic3 is the culmination of many years of development, and has the potential to revolutionise the lives of amputees from across the world. We have been able to make significant improvements to a design that was already the world’s most advanced myo-electric hand, making it stronger, more precise and easier to programme.

“The new hand has been designed to help amputees to tackle real-life, everyday situations, and provides the perfect balance between advanced technology, functionality and aesthetics.”

bebionic3 features naturally compliant grip patterns and a lifelike appearance. The hand also features customisable grip speed, patterns and strength that can be wirelessly programmed and tailored to suit each individual user’s requirements, via the all-new bebalance software.

Source : http://bebionic.com/latest_news/bebionic3_launches_at_aopa_2012

Full story

Scientists Discover that Lipids Control Proteins, Cell Membrane Curvature

Scientists Discover that Lipids Control Proteins, Cell Membrane Curvature

Scientists Discover that Lipids Control Proteins, Cell Membrane Curvature

In biological systems, membranes are as important as water. They form the barrier between the inner world, within our cells, where we perform the chemical reactions of life, and the outside environment.

But a biological membrane isn’t just a big container that keeps the world at bay, it is a vital, interactive gateway that sends and receives goods and messages in a highly regulated and specific way.

Membranes are known to perform their amazing functions through the interactions of proteins and lipids within the lipid bilayer.

Researchers who study membrane-driven processes such as synaptic communication, sperm-egg fusion, and viral infection have focused on the ways that proteins can regulate lipids to control membrane curvature to form the vesicles, pores, and tubules required for these processes.

Now, through advances in liquid surface x-ray scattering techniques at the X-ray Science Division 9-ID beamline at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, Prof. David Gidalevitz and Dr. Andrey Ivankin from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and Dr. Ivan Kuzmenko from Argonne have discovered that lipids are also influencing the shapes of the proteins in the membrane and contributing to membrane curvature.

Their work, which promises to change the way researchers think about lipid-protein interactions and to open new avenues for the study of important membrane-driven processes, involved investigation of the interaction between a known membrane fusion protein, the HIV fusion protein, gp41, and artificially prepared lipid monolayers with various lipid compositions.

Gp41 is responsible for binding to host membranes and creating a pore through which viral RNA is inserted into the cell to propagate the virus. At the molecular level, this means that the viral protein must insert into the membrane and induce curvature in the membrane to make the pore. Careful measurement of the way the protein inserts into the lipid monolayer allowed the team to study how lipids and proteins affect each other during the insertion process.

Surprisingly, although the researchers expected gp41 to induce curvature in the lipid monolayer to form the pore, they found that experiments in which the monolayer contained more cholesterol showed that the lipids were actually affecting the structure of the protein. That is, as cholesterol concentrations increased, the area the protein occupied diminished and the ratio of lipids to proteins increased, suggesting that the protein was compacting itself differently as it inserted into the monolayer depending on its lipid composition.

The gp41 fragment that the team used has been shown to be capable of adopting one of two different structures known as ?-helix or ?-sheet. Their measurements are consistent with a change from the ?-helical to the ?-sheet structure as the cholesterol concentration increases, as shown in the figure.

The composition of the lipid monolayer also determined how deeply the protein penetrated its surface. In monolayers that completely lacked cholesterol, the protein penetrated very shallowly, however, as cholesterol increased, the depth that the protein inserted into the monolayer increased as well.

Remarkably, the free energy required for shallow insertion into the cholesterol-free membrane was the same as that for deep insertion into the cholesterol-rich membrane suggesting the structural change in the protein helped it to overcome the greater rigidity of the cholesterol-rich membrane.

“These data suggest that the cholesterol is inducing a conformational change in the protein and we think that when cholesterol is present, the fusion protein changes to form a sort of anchor in the membrane to hold the virus in place for fusion,” said Gidalevitz, lead author of the paper published in Physical Review Letters.

Next, the group hopes to extend these findings in experiments that will adapt their technique to more complex lipid bilayers with different lipid compositions and to different proteins including the islet amyloid-forming polypeptide amylin linked to Type 2 diabetes. “These membrane processes are critical to many basic biological functions,” said Gidalevitz. “Understanding them will help us to understand the biology underlying many important diseases.” — Sandy Field (sfield@fieldscientific.com)

See: Andrey Ivankin1, Ivan Kuzmenko2, and David Gidalevitz1*, “Cholesterol Mediates Membrane Curvature during Fusion Events,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 238103 (2012). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.238103

Author affiliations: 1Illinois Institute of Technology, 2Argonne National Laboratory

Correspondence: *gidalevitz@iit.edu

This research was supported by the NIH (R01AI073892) and DARPA (W911NF-09-1-378). Use of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory is one of five national synchrotron radiation light sources supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to carry out applied and basic research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels, provide the foundations for new energy technologies, and support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security. To learn more about the Office of Science x-ray user facilities, visit http://science.energy.gov/user-facilities/basic-energy-sciences/.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Biomembranes undergo extensive shape changes as they perform vital cellular functions. The mechanisms by which lipids and proteins control membrane curvature remain unclear. We use x-ray reflectivity, grazing incidence x-ray diffraction, and epifluorescence microscopy to study binding of HIV-1 glycoprotein gp41’s membrane-bending domain to DPPC/cholesterol monolayers of various compositions at the air-liquid interface. The results offer a new insight into how membrane curvature could be regulated by cholesterol during fusion of the viral lipid envelope and the host cell membranes.

Our friend and an unofficial consultant to Medgadget on all things nanomedicine, Dr. David Gidalevitz was recently profiled by Illinois Institute of Technology Magazine. David is an IIT Coleman Faculty Scholar and Assistant Professor of Physics who does some amazing nano research with potentially huge clinical implications:

dd44332dds Nanowarrior David Gidalevitz is Fighting Antibiotic Resistance

Gidalevitz’s work involves the construction of membrane mimics, manmade nanostructures imitative of natural cell walls. He uses these mimics to better understand the precise mechanisms that allow AMPs to recognize and disrupt bacterial cell membranes, despite their structural variation.

Although some experimental drugs composed of naturally occurring AMPs have been attempted, such compounds are quickly recognized by proteases in the body and destroyed before they are able to act. On the other hand, ampetoids—mimics of natural AMPs—are different. “Antimicrobial peptide mimics won’t interfere with general biological systems,” Gidalevitz says. “They’re not recognized as such.”

To study the structure of membrane mimics and their interactions with AMPs, Gidalevitz takes a new approach, using sensitive technologies, including synchrotron-grazing incidence X-ray diffraction and X-ray reflexivity, in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory. “To investigate the action of the peptides and membrane mimics with these techniques is fairly novel,” Gidalevitz notes. “These are definitely not tools used by a majority of biologists.”

Unlike natural cell walls, which are composed of a lipid bilayer, Gidalevitz’s membrane mimics are monolayer structures applied to an aqueous surface in which natural AMPs are dissolved.

Source : http://www.aps.anl.gov/Science/Highlights/Content/APS_SCIENCE_20120613.php

Full story

GE’s New Optima NM/CT640 SPECT/CT System

GE’s New Optima NM/CT640 SPECT/CT System

GE’s New Optima NM/CT640 SPECT/CT System

Miami, Fla June 11, 2012— At the Society of Nuclear Medicine this year, GE Healthcare is introducing the latest addition to its Nuclear Medicine 600 series with a new performance SPECT/CT system—the Optima* NM/CT 640 — that offers nuclear medicine physicians the optimal balance of image quality, patient dose efficiency and low total cost of ownership.

Based on the innovative 600 series SPECT technology found in the Discovery* NM630, this system integrates the latest generation general purpose camera with a newly developed 4 slice CT designed for hybrid rather than standalone CT use. The CT, available in 2.5mm and 5mm slice thicknesses to optimize dose and resolution required for particular procedures, offers clinicians confidence with routinely low CT dose at 1-2 mSv for a 40cm abdomen CT scan.

The Optima NM/CT 640 can be fully upgraded on location from a Discovery NM630 SPECT only system, and may be upgraded in the future to a 16 slice Discovery* NM/CT 670, expanding not only its clinical capability, but offering the potential for research use. This upgradeability helps protect clinicians’ and healthcare providers’ investments as the needs of their department evolve.

With its small footprint (5.7m x 3.6m) the Optima NM/CT 640 requires minimal renovation and installation costs. With the benefit of optimized CT power, shielding and control room requirements are often eliminated; saving as much as $100,000 compared to higher CT powered systems.

“At GE Healthcare, we are dedicated to pushing nuclear medicine to its full potential and investing in its future,” said Nathan Hermony, general manager, Nuclear Medicine, GE Healthcare. “We’re focused on developing equipment that helps customers address the challenges they are confronted with every day – high image quality, low dose and short exam times. Adding the Optima NM/CT 640 to our portfolio helps us strengthen this position, allows customers to upgrade as their needs expand, and continues to benefit clinicians and their patients.”

Adding all the benefits of the Xeleris* Workstation with the Evolution* technology to the Optima NM/CT 640 reduces the trade-offs that are often required between acquisition time, dose and image quality. By allowing clinicians to feel confident in their diagnosis, when reducing time or injected patient dose by up to 50 percent in most scanning procedures while still maintaining excellent image quality.†

The advanced Xeleris workstation—which integrates new and existing nuclear medicine equipment, including legacy GE and non-GE devices—is designed to provide consistent results and enhanced workflow. Xeleris can keep clinicians connected to images and applications from PACS and PCs with their institution and remotely.

The Optima NM/CT 640 is engineered to accommodate more patients than previous generation nuclear medicine systems. With its 28” (70cm) wide bore and table capable of handling patients up to 500lbs. (227 kilograms), the Optima NM/CT 640 provides access to a wide variety of patients.

“Building off of our extensive experience in SPECT/CT, the advances we’ve made to our Infinia Hawkeye 4 platform and incorporating the SPECT technology of our Discovery NM630 camera, we’re striving to give our customers unsurpassed diagnostic confidence,” added Hermony.

GE Healthcare believes in nuclear medicine as a powerful diagnostic tool that is efficient, precise and sophisticated and we’re dedicated to harnessing its power. We have a strong vision for the future and with continued investment in technology advancements like the Optima NM/CT 640 and breakthroughs like CZT. In the end it’s a commitment from a global company that’s dedicated to solving big challenges everywhere – all for the benefit of clinicians and their patients.

*Trademark of General Electric Company

†Shorter acquisition times and dose reduction capabilities are possible with Optima NM/CT 640 system only when used in combination with the relevant features offered on the Xeleris 3 processing and review workstation.

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.

GE Healthcare has introduced its new upgradeable NM/CT640 SPECT/CT System that the company hopes will lead to shorter exam times, lower radiation doses for patients, and overall savings for hospitals that adopt the platform.

Though the system is new, it uses proven componentry from other GE products, such as the SPECT camera found on the Discovery NM630. It supports patients up to 28” (70cm) wide and weighing up to 500lbs (227 Kg).

Based on the innovative 600 series SPECT technology found in the Discovery* NM630, this system integrates the latest generation general purpose camera with a newly developed 4 slice CT designed for hybrid rather than standalone CT use. The CT, available in 2.5mm and 5mm slice thicknesses to optimize dose and resolution required for particular procedures, offers clinicians confidence with routinely low CT dose at 1-2 mSv for a 40cm abdomen CT scan.

The Optima NM/CT 640 can be fully upgraded on location from a Discovery NM630 SPECT only system, and may be upgraded in the future to a 16 slice Discovery* NM/CT 670, expanding not only its clinical capability, but offering the potential for research use. This upgradeability helps protect clinicians’ and healthcare providers’ investments as the needs of their department evolve.

With its small footprint (5.7m x 3.6m) the Optima NM/CT 640 requires minimal renovation and installation costs. With the benefit of optimized CT power, shielding and control room requirements are often eliminated; saving as much as $100,000 compared to higher CT powered systems.

Adding all the benefits of the Xeleris* Workstation with the Evolution* technology to the Optima NM/CT 640 reduces the trade-offs that are often required between acquisition time, dose and image quality. By allowing clinicians to feel confident in their diagnosis, when reducing time or injected patient dose by up to 50 percent in most scanning procedures while still maintaining excellent image quality.†

The advanced Xeleris workstation—which integrates new and existing nuclear medicine equipment, including legacy GE and non-GE devices—is designed to provide consistent results and enhanced workflow. Xeleris can keep clinicians connected to images and applications from PACS and PCs with their institution and remotely.

Source : http://www.genewscenter.com/Press-Releases/GE-Healthcare-Introduces-Performance-SPECT-CT-System-38dc.aspx

Full story

New Lab-on-Chip for Sorting Cells May Help Spot CTCs

New Lab-on-Chip for Sorting Cells May Help Spot CTCs

New Lab-on-Chip for Sorting Cells May Help Spot CTCs

In life, we sort soiled laundry from clean; ripe fruit from rotten. Two Johns Hopkins engineers say they have found an easy way to use gravity or simple forces to similarly sort microscopic particles and bits of biological matter—including circulating tumor cells.

In the May 25 online issue of Physical Review Letters, German Drazer, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and his doctoral student, Jorge A. Bernate, reported that they have developed a lab-on-chip platform, also known as a microfluidic device, that can sort particles, cells or other tiny matter by physical means such as gravity. By moving a liquid over a series of micron-scale high diagonal ramps—similar to speed bumps on a road—the device causes microscopic material to separate into discrete categories, based on weight, size or other factors, the team reported.

This illustration shows magnetically labeled circulating tumor cells (shown as yellow spheres), together with red, white and platelet cells, attempting to travel over an array of slanted ramps. The ramps act as speed bumps, slowing the tumor cells. As the tumor cells slow, the flow carries them along the length of the ramp, causing lateral displacement. After the tumor cells traverse an array of these ramps, they have sufficiently been displaced and can be continuously isolated from other cells in the sample. (Illustration by Martin Rietveld, JHU)

This illustration shows magnetically labeled circulating tumor cells (shown as yellow spheres), together with red, white and platelet cells, attempting to travel over an array of slanted ramps. The ramps act as speed bumps, slowing the tumor cells. As the tumor cells slow, the flow carries them along the length of the ramp, causing lateral displacement. After the tumor cells traverse an array of these ramps, they have sufficiently been displaced and can be continuously isolated from other cells in the sample. (Illustration by Martin Rietveld)

The process described in the journal article could be used to produce a medical diagnostic tool, the Whiting School of Engineering researchers say. “The ultimate goal is to develop a simple device that can be used in routine checkups by health care providers,” said doctoral student Bernate, who is lead author on the paper. “It could be used to detect the handful of circulating tumor cells that have managed to survive among billions of normal blood cells. This could save millions of lives.”

Ideally, these cancer cells in the bloodstream could be detected and targeted for treatment before they’ve had a chance to metastasize, or spread cancer elsewhere. Detection at early stages of cancer is critical for successful treatment.

How does this sorting process occur? Bernate explained that inside the microfluidic device, particles and cells that have been suspended in liquid flow along a “highway” that has speed-bump-like obstacles positioned diagonally, instead of perpendicular to, the path. The speed bumps differ in height, depending on the application.

“As different particles are driven over these diagonal speed bumps, heavier ones have a harder time getting over than the lighter ones,” the doctoral student said. When the particles cannot get over the ramp, they begin to change course and travel diagonally along the length of the obstacle. As the process continues, particles end up fanning out in different directions.

“After the particles cross this section of the ‘highway,’” Bernate said, “they end up in different ‘lanes’ and can take different ‘exits,’ which allows for their continuous separation.”

Gravity is not the only way to slow down and sort particles as they attempt to traverse the speed bumps. “Particles with an electrical charge or that are magnetic may also find it hard to go up over the obstacles in the presence of an electric or magnetic field,” Bernate said. For example, cancer cells could be “weighted down” with magnetic beads and then sorted in a device with a magnetic field.

The ability to sort and separate things at the micro- and nanoscale is important in many industries, ranging from solar power to bio-security. But Bernate said that a medical application is likely to be the most promising immediate use for the device.

He is slated to complete his doctoral studies this summer, but until then, Bernate will continue to collaborate with researchers in the lab of Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and with colleagues at InterUniversity Microelectronics Center, IMEC, in Belgium. In 2011, Bernate spent 10 weeks at IMEC in a program hosted by Johns Hopkins’ Institute for NanoBioTechnology and funded by the National Science Foundation.

His doctoral adviser, Drazer, said, the research described in the new journal article eventually led Jorge down the path at IMEC to develop a device that can easily sort whole blood into its components. A provisional patent has been filed for this device.

The research by Bernate and Drazer was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Illustrations and short video available; contact Mary Spiro or Phil Sneiderman.

We present a comprehensive description of vector chromatography (VC) that includes deterministic and stochastic transport in one-dimensional periodic free-energy landscapes, with both energetic and entropic contributions, and identifies the parameters governing the deflection angle. We also investigate the dependence of the deflection angle on the shape of the free-energy landscape by varying the width of the linear transitions in an otherwise dichotomous potential. Finally, we present experimental results obtained in a microfluidic system in which gravity drives the suspended particles and, in combination with a bottom surface patterned with shallow rectangular grooves, creates a periodic landscape of (potential) energy barriers. The experiments validate the model and demonstrate that a simple, passive microdevice can lead to VC of colloidal particles based on both size and density. More generally, other fields, e.g., electric, dielectrophoretic, or magnetic, can play or enhance the role of gravity, potentially leading to a versatile technique.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have recently reported in Physical Review Letterson a new method of sorting cells that may find many uses in medicine, particularly testing for circulating tumor cells that point to the presence of cancer.

The microfluidic technology relies pushing cells to slide down a ramp with various barriers in the way that allow some cells to bump over them while others to slide along a different path. The electric charge of particles can also be a factor in sorting if an electric field is setup along some of the ramps. Magnetizing some particles and using a magnetic field adds another factor to control.

From the study abstract:

We present a comprehensive description of vector chromatography (VC) that includes deterministic and stochastic transport in one-dimensional periodic free-energy landscapes, with both energetic and entropic contributions, and identifies the parameters governing the deflection angle. We also investigate the dependence of the deflection angle on the shape of the free-energy landscape by varying the width of the linear transitions in an otherwise dichotomous potential. Finally, we present experimental results obtained in a microfluidic system in which gravity drives the suspended particles and, in combination with a bottom surface patterned with shallow rectangular grooves, creates a periodic landscape of (potential) energy barriers. The experiments validate the model and demonstrate that a simple, passive microdevice can lead to VC of colloidal particles based on both size and density. More generally, other fields, e.g., electric, dielectrophoretic, or magnetic, can play or enhance the role of gravity, potentially leading to a versatile technique.

Source : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kswk6qkVJcE&feature=player_embedded

Full story

PeerJ Launches: Lifetime Open-Access

PeerJ Launches: Lifetime Open-Access

PeerJ Launches: Lifetime Open-Access

Today, June 12th 2012, we are pleased to formally announce PeerJ. Our website now includes full information about our two publications (PeerJ and PeerJ PrePrints); our 3 tiers of membership plan; and how we will operate as a dynamic, innovative scholarly publisher.

Our press release can be read here, endorsements from thought leaders can be read here, and early media coverage has already included pieces in Nature, Ars Technica, The Library Journal and pandodaily.

In blog posts over the next few days we will be explaining more of the details behind how PeerJ will operate, as well as what makes us different. Please check out the full details on our site; follow us on Twitter; or take advantage of our launch discount offers and become a member of the PeerJ community.

Science-publishing ventures continually battle for market space, yet most operate on one of only two basic business models. Either subscribers pay for access, or authors pay for each publication — often thousands of dollars — with access being free. But in what publishing experts say is a radical experiment, an open-access venture called PeerJ, which formally announced its launch on 12 June, is carving out a fresh niche. It is asking its authors for only a one-off fee to secure a lifetime membership that will allow them to publish free, peer-reviewed research papers.

Relying on a custom-built, open-source platform to streamline its publication process, PeerJ aims to drive down the costs of research publishing, say its founders: Peter Binfield, who until recently was publisher of the world’s largest journal, PLoS ONE, and Jason Hoyt, who previously worked at the research-paper-sharing site Mendeley. Their involvement is a major reason for the buzz around PeerJ. “I thought — wow — if the people I’m hearing about are working there — that’s the sign of something happening. It makes it less crazy,” says John Wilbanks, an advocate of open access and a senior fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri.

Related stories

White House petitioned to make research free to access

Elsevier boycott gathers pace

Open access comes of age

More related stories

PeerJ is just one of a flurry of experiments, encouraged in part by the gathering momentum of open access, that might shape the future of research publishing. “We are seeing a Cambrian explosion of experiments with new publishing models. It’s going to be an interesting period for the next few years,” says Binfield.

Binfield hopes PeerJ’s growth will resemble that of PLoS ONE, which went from publishing some 1,000 articles in its first full year (2007) to its current 2,000 articles a month. “PLoS ONE is publishing so many articles that it is stretching the boundaries of what is a journal — instead, it’s becoming a large, peer-reviewed repository of research articles. We’re setting ourselves up for exploring that future,” says Binfield. But he adds that PeerJ will not need PLoS ONE’s volume of papers to be viable.

Whereas PLoS ONE charges $1,350 per paper, PeerJ users pay $299 for unlimited open-access publications and submissions, or a smaller fee ($199 or $99) for a limited number per year. (All authors on multi-author papers must be members, although papers with 13 or more authors need only 12 paying members.) The journal, which received undisclosed start-up support from the venture-capital fund O’Reilly Alpha­TechVentures in San Francisco, California, will be accepting articles from August.

“I thought — wow — if the people I’m hearing about are working there — that’s the sign of something happening.”

Despite the low publication cost, PeerJ’s founders promise that, as with PLoS ONE, articles will be peer reviewed for scientific validity — but not for importance or impact. Other open-access journals have also adopted this policy, including Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Reports. It marks a distinction from selective open-access journals such as the forthcoming eLife, which plans to publish only high-impact work. To avoid running out of peer reviewers, every PeerJ member is required each year to review at least one paper or participate in post-publication peer review.

Untangling user fees from the publication of individual articles is a significant innovation — but other radical ideas are in the pipeline. In high-energy physics, for example, a consortium called SCOAP3, which includes funding agencies and libraries, is planning to pay publishers for all the costs of publication, so that articles can be free to access and authors will not be charged directly. On 1 June, the SCOAP3 initiative said that it had sent out tenders to publishers to bid for these contracts, with services expected to start in January 2014.

Other ideas under discussion include journals that charge for submissions rather than for publications; direct government funding for all publications; and research funders setting up their own publication infrastructure (much as some do with biology databases), says Cameron Neylon, recently appointed director of advocacy at the Public Library of Science in San Francisco, which publishes PLoS ONE.

No one knows what will work. But many say that the experiments now under way will help to reveal the true costs of sustainably publishing articles and research data. “PeerJ is part of the assertion that this can be done cheaper — and for that alone it will be interesting to watch,” says Neylon.

There has been a lot of buzz lately about how journal publishers are making exorbitant profit margins over scientists’ hard work and how at the same time they prevent tax-payers from accessing the work that they sponsored. Although multiple open-access journals already exist, a major hurdle (aside from the impact factor obsession for those aspiring a scientific career) is the cost of publishing in such a journal, which is usually charged to the author. PeerJ, officially launched today, plans to disrupt this market by charging a one-time $99 fee for lifetime rights to publish in the open-access journal. Inspired by PloS One, PeerJ accepts papers solely based on scientific and methodological rigor and not perceived impact. The focus of PeerJ will be on the biological and medical sciences.

PeerJ‘s publishing model has been made possible by making the maximum use of modern technology. The journal will use customized software for the article submission and peer review process, and, except for a few servers for internal use, everything will be in the Amazon cloud with data stored on Amazon’s S3 service and presented to users via software running on EC2. Long-term archiving happens at the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed Central archive.

There are a few catches: although the basic plan is $99, that allows you to publish only one paper a year. Two papers a year will cost you $169 and for $259 you can publish as much as you want. In addition, each author of a paper needs to be a member (up to a maximum of 12). Lastly, you need to review at least one other paper each year to keep your membership active.

Although some of the above may sound like a wild experiment in publishing, PeerJ‘s two founders are no strangers to this industry. The first is Peter Binfield, under whose leadership PloS One became the largest scientific journal in the world and the second is Jason Hoyt, former Chief Scientist/VP of R&D at Mendeley. Financially PeerJ is backed by none less than Tim O’Reilly.

PeerJ will begin accepting submissions in the fields of biology and medicine in the summer and with actual publishing starting in December. PeerJ articles will be indexed in all major databases, including PubMed, PubMedCentral, Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search. Although the academic world is a conservative one which will not be easy to disrupt, PeerJ certainly has the potential to shape the future of research publishing.

Source : http://www.nature.com/news/journal-offers-flat-fee-for-all-you-can-publish-1.10811

Full story

Nonin’s EQUANOX Neonatal/Pediatric Cerebral/Somatic Oxygen Saturation Sensor

Nonin’s EQUANOX Neonatal/Pediatric Cerebral/Somatic Oxygen Saturation Sensor

Nonin’s EQUANOX Neonatal/Pediatric Cerebral/Somatic Oxygen Saturation Sensor

MINNEAPOLIS, June 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Nonin Medical, Inc. announced today the U.S. market release of its EQUANOX™ Advance Model 8004CB Series neonatal/pediatric sensor. The EQUANOX Advance 8004CB Series Sensor with Nonin’s patent-pending Dynamic Compensation™ algorithm is the first and only cerebral/somatic sensor to automatically account for pediatric brain-tissue-development variation when measuring oxygen saturation levels. The sensors are designed for use with Nonin’s EQUANOX™ Advance Model 7600 Oximetry System in cerebral or somatic positions on patients weighing less than 40 kg.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120608/CG21571)

EQUANOX is a near infra-red spectroscopy (NIRS)-based monitoring device that noninvasively and continuously detects oxygen saturation status in brain and other tissue. The device allows clinicians to quickly react to reverse harmful tissue ischemia events before they become critical.

“Nonin Medical is pleased to announce this latest advancement in tissue oxygen saturation monitoring for neonatal and pediatric patients,” said Kevin McGowan, Vice President-Global Sales for Nonin Medical. “Until now, pediatric cerebral/somatic oximetry sensors have essentially been trimmed versions of adult sensors. Nonin’s 8004CB Sensor is designed specifically for pediatric patients. The sensor features adhesive and non-adhesive versions for delicate skin, a small footprint for space-saving placement, short light-path spacing for pediatric-appropriate tissue-depth readings, and Nonin’s Dynamic Compensation™ algorithm for calculating accurate, patient-specific values. And because the 8004CB provides a single-sensor solution for all patients less than 40 kg, it simplifies protocols and inventory requirements, saving time and money.”

“Nonin’s EQUANOX™ Advance 8004CB sensor represents a major step forward in pediatric patient monitoring because it provides absolute, real-time accuracy of cerebral oxygenation status without requiring the physician to input patient demographics or stock and choose from multiple sensors,” said Dr. Dean Kurth, Anesthesiologist-in-Chief for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

“The problem is, light attenuation of pediatric brain tissue changes with age and varies from patient to patient, which can impact traditional cerebral oximetry systems,” Kurth said. “To compensate for this, some pediatric oximetry systems require physicians to choose from different sensor sizes or enter the patient’s age or weight to obtain accurate rSO2 measurements. Nonin’s new 8004CB Sensor, with its Dynamic Compensation algorithm, is the first sensor to automatically adjust for pediatric brain myelination changes. So now physicians have a single-sensor solution that provides oxygen saturation readings based on the child’s true physiology.”

The EQUANOX Advance 8004CB and 8004CB-NA (non-adhesive) Neonatal/Pediatric Sensors, along with the Model 7600 Oximetry System, provide additional advantages including:

Cerebral and Somatic Monitoring – Up to four channels displayed on one screen for monitoring oxygen saturation in the brain and somatic sites on the body, including kidney and liver sites

Patented Dual-Light Emitters and Detectors with Four Wavelength Accuracy – The first and only device that utilizes a dual-light emitting and detecting sensor architecture, which has been shown to more effectively target the cerebral cortex, eliminating surface artifacts that interfere with measurement accuracy(1)

Absolute Accuracy – Assures accurate measure of tissue saturation at a point in time, not just relative or trending accuracy of changes

Consistency and Reliability – Rapid, reliable response to change without signal instability and interruptions from ambient electrical and light interferences

Portability and Connectivity – Lightweight, durable monitor with long battery life and pole-mounting capability for continually monitoring patients during intra-hospital transport. Data output available via Bluetooth® wireless technology or RS232 connection. Interfaces with Philips® VueLink (through Philips IntelliVue® Monitor), Philips CompuRecord Anesthesia Information System, Spectrum Medical VIPER Independent Data Management System and Sorin Perfusion Data Management System.

Contact Nonin Medical at 1.800.356.8874 or visit www.noninequanox.com for more information or to schedule an on-site evaluation.

About Nonin Medical, leaders in noninvasive medical monitoring

Nonin Medical, Inc. invented finger pulse oximetry and designs and manufactures innovative, noninvasive medical monitoring solutions to meet customers’ technology needs today and tomorrow. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. with an additional service center in Hudiksvall, Sweden, Nonin Medical sells its pulse and regional oximeters, capnographs, sensors and software to health professionals and consumers in more than 125 countries. The company also has more than 100 OEM partners worldwide. For more information, visit www.nonin.com.

You make key decisions that strive to preserve major organ functions. Nonin Medical’s EQUANOX Model 7600 Regional Oximetry System provides you the accurate, reliable and consistent measures of tissue oxygen saturation to assist in decision making.

EQUANOX rSO2 technology offers real-time management of patients at risk for brain damage or other major organ injury during surgery. Using patented near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technology, the EQUANOX System detects changing levels in cerebral or somatic oxygenation, allowing clinicians to react before injury occurs.

Key product highlights of the EQUANOX System include:

Industry-Leading Accuracy* – Absolute accuracy that aligns to true patient physiology, indicating adequacy of perfusion.

Consistent and Reliable – Rapid, reliable, response to physiological change without the signal instability and interruptions from ambient electrical and optical interferences.

Portable and Versatile – Lightweight and durable, with long battery life, allowing ease of continuous monitoring during patient transport with the hospital.

Optimized for the Patient – Unique optical spacing to isolate and target key tissues for the intended population.

About Nonin Medical

Nonin Medical continually advances new noninvasive physiological monitoring designed to reduce costs and improve patient care. With 25 years of signal processing and NIRS sensor design expertise, Nonin’s innovative technologies empower clinicians to quickly and accurately monitor their patients’ true condition—even in the presence of low perfusion, motion and other challenging conditions.

Nonin Medical invented NIRS-based fingertip pulse oximetry with the Onyx® Model 9500, so the move to produce an accurate, durable, portable NIRS-based regional oximeter was a natural evolution. Today, Nonin’s clinically proven EQUANOX rS02 and PureSAT® Sp02 technologies—known for their stability, signal processing speed, and ability to uniquely filter out artifact interference—provide confidence to millions of clinicians that the numerical values they see reflect their patients’ true physiology.

Source : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/

www.nonin-medical-inc-announces-us-market-release-of-equanox-advance-model-8004cb-series-sensor-for-neonatal-pediatric-patients-158132715.html

Full story

Mevion Proton Therapy System Approved in U.S., Cleared for Firing Up at Initial Hospitals

Mevion Proton Therapy System Approved in U.S., Cleared for Firing Up at Initial Hospitals

Mevion Proton Therapy System Approved in U.S., Cleared for Firing Up at Initial Hospitals

LITTLETON, MA., June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/–Mevion Medical Systems, Inc., a radiation therapy company dedicated to advancing the treatment of cancer, announced today that it has received FDA 510(k) clearance for its MEVION S250 Proton Therapy System. The MEVION S250 is a first-of-its-kind proton therapy system that provides the same precise, non-invasive treatment advantages and capabilities of complex, large, and costly proton therapy systems but with higher patient throughput, a significantly reduced footprint, improved reliability, and lower implementation and operational costs. The MEVION S250 delivers precise and intense proton beams that physicians can use to treat tumors and lesions or any other condition where radiotherapy is indicated.

The broad adoption of proton therapy has been greatly limited by the enormous cost, large footprint, and technical complexity of traditional proton therapy systems. Powered by a patented TriNiobium Core™, the MEVION S250 proton therapy system redefines the economics, availability, and the future direction of proton therapy, by bringing the management and operation of proton therapy to levels similar to modern X-ray radiation therapy devices. “Completing this very important milestone is a testament to the maturity of the Mevion organization and its ability to manufacture, install and support a safe and effective product,” said Joseph Jachinowski, Chief Executive Officer of Mevion Medical Systems. “We are pleased to receive this clearance from the FDA and now look forward to providing our customers and their patients access to this revolutionary device.”

This clearance enables users of the MEVION S250 to immediately treat patients upon completion of their system installation. The first installation of the MEVION S250 will soon be completed at the Kling Center for Proton Therapy at Barnes Jewish Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mevion will be delivering and installing more than a dozen MEVION S250 proton therapy systems worldwide within the next two years, making it one of the leading providers of proton therapy systems. MEVION S250 installations are also underway at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey and Oklahoma University in Oklahoma. Additional sites in Florida and California will follow these installations.

Earlier this year, the MEVION S250 received CE certification, which gives Mevion the ability to market, sell, import, and install proton therapy systems in the European Union and other regions where the CE Marking is recognized.

About Mevion Medical Systems

Mevion Medical Systems, Inc. is a radiation therapy company dedicated to advancing the treatment of cancer. As the pioneering developer of proton therapy systems, Mevion provides innovative, safe, and effective solutions by transforming advances in medical technology and science into practical clinical reality.

Mevion’s flagship product, the MEVION S250 Proton Therapy System, is designed to preserve all of the treatment benefits of traditional proton therapy systems while removing the obstacles of size, cost, and complexity. Realizing this vision, Mevion has forever changed the economics and accessibility of proton therapy worldwide.

Founded in 2004, Mevion is a privately held company headquartered in the Boston metropolitan area with international offices in the United Kingdom and Japan.

Introducing the MEVION S250

High Energy Cancer Care™

The confluence of elegance, precision, safety, and efficiency is defining the future of proton therapy. Mevion Medical Systems introduces the MEVION S250 Proton Therapy System.

Designed to preserve all of the treatment benefits of conventional proton treatment systems, the MEVION S250 removes the obstacles of size, cost and complexity that have limited adoption of proton therapy. Precise, safe, efficient, and practical – the MEVION S250™ is a truly elegant solution that is making proton therapy readily accessible to the pediatric and adult cancer patients who can now benefit from the power of High Energy Cancer Care.

The MEVION S250 Proton Therapy System is USFDA 510(k) cleared and complies with MDD/CE requirements.

Mevion Medical out of Littleton, MA received the European CE Mark for its MEVION S250 Proton Therapy System. Proton therapy’s advantage over traditional radiation is that it allows for precise targeting of tumors so that energy is deposited almost exclusively at the target without damaging tissue on the way to and away from the treatment area.

The real limiting issues with proton therapy is the cost of the systems and their large size because they are powered by synchrocyclotrons. TriNiobium Core MEVION S250 Proton Therapy Cleared in EuropeBy managing to build a compact accelerator (6 ft (1.8 m) in diameter) that can deliver protons at 250 MeV to a depth of up to 32 cm, the company believes it can bring down the cost of this technology and make it affordable to more hospitals.

Proton beam radiotherapy can accurately deliver targeted radiation doses with complete proton energy absorption at predictable tissue depth, thus allowing precise radiation delivery adjacent to critical structures and lower radiation doses to healthy structures. The availability of proton therapy has remained very limited however, due to the enormous cost, large footprint, and technical complexity of traditional proton therapy systems.

CE Marking of the MEVION S250 gives hospitals and cancer treatment centers throughout the European Union, and other regions where CE Marking is recognized, the ability to order, install, and treat patients with this revolutionary medical device. Powered by a TriNiobium Core™, the MEVION S250 significantly reduces the cost, size and complexity of proton therapy systems to levels similar to modern X-ray radiation therapy devices, and brings accessibility, affordability and practicality to proton therapy.

Mevion is concurrently installing three MEVION S250 Proton Therapy Systems in the United States. The first site at the Siteman Cancer Center in Barnes Jewish Hospital, at Washington University in St. Louis Missouri accepted delivery of its superconducting synchrocyclotron in October of 2011 and is now producing a powerful 250 MeV energy beam. The second and third installations at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ and Oklahoma University, OK are underway and scheduled to be completed later this year.

Source : http://www.mevion.com/news/67-fda-approved

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Full story

Page 1 of 212
Copyright © 2017 Medical Technology & Gadgets Blog MedicalBuy.net. All rights reserved.
Proudly powered by WordPress. Developed by Deluxe Themes