Archive for September 17th, 2012

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Laser Powered Drug Injector May to Help Say Goodbye to Needles

Laser Powered Drug Injector May to Help Say Goodbye to Needles

Laser Powered Drug Injector May to Help Say Goodbye to Needles

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2012—From annual flu shots to childhood immunizations, needle injections are among the least popular staples of medical care. Though various techniques have been developed in hopes of taking the “ouch” out of injections, hypodermic needles are still the first choice for ease-of-use, precision, and control.

A new laser-based system, however, that blasts microscopic jets of drugs into the skin could soon make getting a shot as painless as being hit with a puff of air.

The system uses an erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet, or Er:YAG, laser to propel a tiny, precise stream of medicine with just the right amount of force. This type of laser is commonly used by dermatologists, “particularly for facial esthetic treatments,” says Jack Yoh, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Seoul National University in South Korea, who developed the device along with his graduate students. Yoh and his team describe the injector in a paper published today in the Optical Society’s (OSA) journal Optics Letters.

The laser is combined with a small adaptor that contains the drug to be delivered, in liquid form, plus a chamber containing water that acts as a “driving” fluid. A flexible membrane separates these two liquids. Each laser pulse, which lasts just 250 millionths of a second, generates a vapor bubble inside the driving fluid. The pressure of that bubble puts elastic strain on the membrane, causing the drug to be forcefully ejected from a miniature nozzle in a narrow jet a mere 150 millionths of a meter (micrometers) in diameter, just a little larger than the width of a human hair.

“The impacting jet pressure is higher than the skin tensile strength and thus causes the jet to smoothly penetrate into the targeted depth underneath the skin, without any splashback of the drug,” Yoh says. Tests on guinea pig skin show that the drug-laden jet can penetrate up to several millimeters beneath the skin surface, with no damage to the tissue. Because of the narrowness and quickness of the jet, it should cause little or no pain, Yoh says. “However, our aim is the epidermal layer,” which is located closer to the skin surface, at a depth of only about 500 micrometers. This region of the skin has no nerve endings, so the method “will be completely pain-free,” he says.

In previous studies, the researchers used a laser wavelength that was not well absorbed by the water of the driving liquid, causing the formation of tiny shock waves that dissipated energy and hampered the formation of the vapor bubble. In the new work, Yoh and colleagues use a laser with a wavelength of 2,940 nanometers, which is readily absorbed by water. This allows the formation of a larger and more stable vapor bubble “which then induces higher pressure on the membrane,” he explains. “This is ideal for creating the jet and significantly improves skin penetration.”

Although other research groups have developed similar injectors, “they are mechanically driven,” using piston-like devices to force drugs into the skin, which gives less control over the jet strength and the drug dosage, Yoh says. “The laser-driven microjet injector can precisely control dose and the depth of drug penetration underneath the skin. Control via laser power is the major advancement over other devices, I believe.”

Yoh is now working with a company to produce low-cost replaceable injectors for clinical use. “In the immediate future, this technology could be most easily adopted to situations where small doses of drugs are injected at multiple sites,” he says. “Further work would be necessary to adopt it for scenarios like mass vaccine injections for children.”

Paper: “Er:YAG laser pulse for small-dose splashback-free microjet transdermal drug delivery,” Optics Letters, Vol. 37, Issue 18, pp. 3894-3896 (2012)..

EDITOR’S NOTE: High-resolution images are available to members of the media upon request. Contact Angela Stark, astark@osa.org.

About Optics Letters

Published by the Optical Society (OSA), Optics Letters offers rapid dissemination of new results in all areas of optics with short, original, peer-reviewed communications. Optics Letters covers the latest research in optical science, including optical measurements, optical components and devices, atmospheric optics, biomedical optics, Fourier optics, integrated optics, optical processing, optoelectronics, lasers, nonlinear optics, optical storage and holography, optical coherence, polarization, quantum electronics, ultrafast optical phenomena, photonic crystals, and fiber optics. This journal, edited by Alan E. Willner of the University of Southern California and published twice each month, is where readers look for the latest discoveries in optics. Visit www.OpticsInfoBase.org/OL.

About OSA

Uniting more than 180,000 professionals from 175 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.

The microjet injector system accelerates drugs and delivers them without a needle, which is shown to overcome the weaknesses of existing jet injectors. A significant increase in the delivered dose of drugs is reported with multiple pulses of laser beam at lower laser energy than was previously used in a Nd:YAG system. The new injection scheme uses the beam wavelength best absorbable by water at a longer pulse mode for elongated microjet penetration into a skin target. A 2.9 ?m Er:YAG laser at 250 ?s pulse duration is used for fluorescent staining of guinea pig skin and for injection controllability study. Hydrodynamic theory confirms the nozzle exit jet velocity obtained by the present microjet system.

A team of researchers at Seoul National University in South Korea have created a drug injection system that uses an Er:YAG infrared laser to propel liquid to about 70 mph (30 meters/sec). The stream is slightly wider than a human hair and, according to a study on guinea pigs, can penetrate skin to a depth of a few millimeters.

The device uses the laser to generate a high pressure vapor bubble within a small sack of water, causing the sack to rapidly expand. In turn, an adjacent compartment containing the liquid drug is forced to contract and release its cargo through a tiny nozzle. The team hopes their technology will soon lead to pain free injections and an end to aichmophobia in the clinic.

In previous studies, the researchers used a laser wavelength that was not well absorbed by the water of the driving liquid, causing the formation of tiny shock waves that dissipated energy and hampered the formation of the vapor bubble. In the new work, Yoh and colleagues use a laser with a wavelength of 2,940 nanometers, which is readily absorbed by water. This allows the formation of a larger and more stable vapor bubble “which then induces higher pressure on the membrane,” he explains. “This is ideal for creating the jet and significantly improves skin penetration.”

Although other research groups have developed similar injectors, “they are mechanically driven,” using piston-like devices to force drugs into the skin, which gives less control over the jet strength and the drug dosage, Yoh says. “The laser-driven microjet injector can precisely control dose and the depth of drug penetration underneath the skin. Control via laser power is the major advancement over other devices, I believe.”

Yoh is now working with a company to produce low-cost replaceable injectors for clinical use. “In the immediate future, this technology could be most easily adopted to situations where small doses of drugs are injected at multiple sites,” he says. “Further work would be necessary to adopt it for scenarios like mass vaccine injections for children.”

Source : http://www.osa.org/About_Osa/Newsroom/News_Releases/Releases/09.2012/Laser-powered-Needle-Promises-Pain-free-Injections.aspx

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A New Japanese Endoscopic Surgical Robot Unveiled

A New Japanese Endoscopic Surgical Robot Unveiled

A New Japanese Endoscopic Surgical Robot Unveiled

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and Kyushu University have unveiled a new prototype robotic surgical system that they hope in a few years will be competing against Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci systems. The device features three cameras at the working end that provide a 3D view of the entire scene to the surgeon and control board is simple and small enough to fit into a Japanese lunch box, according to one of the professors leading the project.

The team believes their device will be relatively cheap to produce and may be useful in applications where the da Vinci isn’t a practical option. They also envision it being used for true telemedicine during which the treated patient may be in an entirely different location from where the surgeon is with the controller. This gives us visions of a future where surgeons, like American presidents, travel with an emergency briefcase (or lunch box) that can be activated to save, instead of annihilate, people half a world away.

“As part of a comprehensive research and development equipment very early cancer diagnosis and treatment” of NEDO, doctors and nurses are easy to handle, with a focus group of Professor Makoto Hashizume, Kyushu University, can be preserved as much as possible the normal organ function We have developed a robot-assisted minimally invasive endoscopic surgery of a compact integral diagnosis and treatment.

What is called a master-slave expression operations (corresponding to the arms and hands of the robot) manipulator that the surgeon operates the (master) console hand, is inserted into the patient’s body. Such treatment can be captured in real surgical site through an endoscope (three-dimensional) 3D has been inserted into the patient, allowing safer operation.

With the development of robot-assisted surgery, the burden of these surgeons is reduced, and leads to the rehabilitation and early reduction of health care costs by shortening the length of hospital stay for patients, we are able to provide quality care more .

Panorama intelligent robot-assisted surgery for digestive surgery Figure 1

Panorama intelligent robot-assisted surgery for digestive surgery Figure 1

1 Background.

For surgical wound is small and less invasive, faster postoperative recovery, endoscopic surgery, early rehabilitation is possible. However, such technique is required surgical advanced in the field of view is limited due to a use of the endoscope and the surgical procedure fine when treating the affected area, using a surgical instrument dedicated inserted from outside the body, the surgeon, there is a problem of the burden of health care workers, such as medical staff is large.

The NEDO, “Research and Development of endoscopic surgery support system / equipment for Research Advancement of very early cancer diagnosis and treatment (formerly known as intelligent surgical instruments research and development)” from the year 2007 project research leader (Makoto Hashizume, Kyushu University working on) Professor, Faculty of Graduate School of Medicine, aim therapy techniques less onerous and more secure, more fusion endoscopic technique that Japan’s world-class, art after robot, and sensing technology, health care workers are easy to handle, the affected area We have carried out the development of robot-assisted endoscopic surgery, such as minimally invasive diagnosis and treatment a compact all-in-one to treat effectively with high precision, can be preserved as much as possible the normal organ function.

The robot-assisted surgery, less burden on patients, by both medical personnel, safe surgery can be more, and lead to rehabilitation and early reduction of health care costs by shortening the duration of hospitalization, medical care and higher quality provided. In addition, we confirmed that the future is also considered expansion into telemedicine utilizing technology IT, there is no gap between hospital and regional disparities, ready to accept medical treatment patients excellent equally be expected.

This achievement 2.

Robotic assisted surgery newly developed, in what is called the formula master-slave operation (corresponding to the arms and hands of the robot) manipulator operator operates the (master) console hand, is inserted into the patient’s body it is intended to. Eye to the role of the operator is an endoscope (three-dimensional) 3D that is inserted into the patient. In this project, we have developed a robot-assisted surgery three for neurosurgery, for thoracic surgery, and surgical gastroenterology, equipment, and control console is common, manipulator has a shape optimal target site for each you. Also manipulator either the sensor or the surgical instrument advanced is required depending on the target region are equipped, by using the 3D image more accurate, can be treated captured real surgical site, can be presented to an operator, such as ultrasound images in real time during surgery (such as MRI and CT) image for preoperative examination of the patient and biological information, allowing safer operation.

Prone to left lateral (Nagoya Institute of Technology, Nagoya University, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology subcontractors), the target brain tumors, mainly in surgery under a conventional microscope, and the pursuit of minimally invasive neurosurgery subproject that can cope with the tumor, the suction tube used to remove the endoscope 3D switching side view face for enabling the suction accessed from lateral, tumor, bipolar ? 1, used for washing surgical field used for hemostasis technique was developed “intelligent robot-assisted surgery for neurosurgical procedures,” which consists of, in robotic endoscopic treatment tool that can be manipulated to deform laterally Irigeta ? 2.

And the occurrence of the side blind spot minimally invasive approach for tumors near the motor cortex and Figure 2

And the occurrence of the side blind spot minimally invasive approach for tumors near the motor cortex and Figure 2

And the distal end portion of the surgical instrument panorama intelligent robot-assisted surgery for Neurosurgery in Figure 3

And the distal end portion of the surgical instrument panorama intelligent robot-assisted surgery for Neurosurgery in Figure 3

Subprojects Thoracic Surgery (subcontractors: University of Tokyo, Olympus Corporation), the lung cancer and will be subject to a coronary artery bypass grafting for ischemic heart disease, resulting in restrictions on the scope and operation of the equipment due to the presence of the insertion angle of the ribs. Therefore, to control it with treatment tool that can be manipulated to develop a single-degree-of-freedom manipulator joint seven large degree of freedom than of the human hand, to access the desired location while avoiding obstacles “intelligent for Thoracic Surgery I have developed a robot technology “assisted surgery.

Intelligent robot-assisted surgery for thoracic surgery Figure 4

Intelligent robot-assisted surgery for thoracic surgery Figure 4

Sub-projects of Gastroenterological Surgery (subcontractors: Kyushu University, Inc. HOYA) in, and is intended for gastrointestinal cancers such as stomach cancer and liver cancer. Corresponding to the (single-port surgery), and a flexible endoscope stereoscopic SPS ? 3, digestion, “which combines ? 4 oscillation device focused ultrasound and forceps two have begun to spread rapidly worldwide in the past few years We have developed a robot technology “Intelligent surgical instrument assisted surgery.

Was issued a transmitting device and a focused ultrasonic tip forceps part robot-assisted surgery for digestive surgery intelligent Figure 5

Was issued a transmitting device and a focused ultrasonic tip forceps part robot-assisted surgery for digestive surgery intelligent Figure 5

Robot-assisted surgery for intelligent behavior CG image of Gastrointestinal Surgery 6 (Courtesy of Jikei University School of Medicine)

Robot-assisted surgery for intelligent behavior CG image of Gastrointestinal Surgery 6 (Courtesy of Jikei University School of Medicine)

Schedule 3.

We will continue to go for research and development to commercialize the results of this project at an early stage.

Contact 4.

Inquiries about the contents of this press release

Biotechnology and Medical Technology Department NEDO: Kokyo, TEL 044-520-5231 Yoshimura

Contact for general business other NEDO

Nedo_press@ml.nedo.go.jp: TEL :044-520-5151 E-mail Endo Contact: Public Relations Office NEDO

[Glossary: Reference]

1: Bipolar bipolar cautery (both polarities). A high-frequency electric cautery current flows across the tissue between the active electrode and an inert electrode. I do mainly coagulation and hemostasis.

2 Irigeta: those to be used when performing irrigation method, consisting of the tank and the outlet pipe elasticity, and washed with physiological saline, etc..

3 SPS: single-hole endoscopic surgery (Single Port Surgery). In general, whereas the insertion from the Port each incision surgical instruments such as forceps or laparoscopic, laparoscopic surgery is performed by inserting a laparoscope and forceps from the port of one place. Mainly from the umbilicus to insert, inconspicuous incision that is characterized by widely spread.

oscillation device focused ultrasound 4: By using that portion of its focal point is the temperature and to focus on one point the ultrasonic energy focusing such as cancer, a device treated to a high temperature only cancer. Cancer cells will be destroyed when heated to a high temperature, eliminating the need for resection, such as in the prior art, no effect on the tissues other than the focal point, it is possible bloodless surgery.

Source : http://www.nikkei.com/video/?bclid=67379774001&bctid=276248146002&scrl=1&t=1

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Ultracheap Ultrasound for Hospitals in Poor Areas

Ultracheap Ultrasound for Hospitals in Poor Areas

Ultracheap Ultrasound for Hospitals in Poor Areas

An ultra-low cost scanner that can be plugged into any computer to show images of an unborn baby has been developed by Newcastle University engineers.

The hand-held USB device – which is roughly the size of a computer mouse – works in a similar way to existing ultrasound scanners, using pulses of high frequency sound to build up a picture of the unborn child on the computer screen.

However, unlike the technology used in most hospitals across the UK costing anywhere from £20,000-£100,000, the scanner created by Jeff Neasham and Research Associate Dave Graham at Newcastle University can be manufactured for as little as £30-40.

Tested by experts in the Regional Medical Physics Department at the Freeman Hospital, part of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the scanner produces an output power that is 10-100 times lower than conventional hospital ultrasounds.

It is now hoped the device will be used to provide medical teams working in the world’s poorest nations with basic, antenatal information that could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of women and children.

“Here in the UK we take these routine, but potentially lifesaving, tests for granted,” explains Mr Neasham, a sonar expert based in the University’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

“Imaging to obtain even the simplest information such as the child’s position in the womb or how it is developing is simply not available to women in many parts of the world.

“We hope the very low cost of this device and the fact that it can run on any standard computer made in the last 10 years means basic antenatal imaging could finally be made available to all women.”

Mr Neasham said the original aim had been to make something portable and easy to use that would be affordable in developing countries as well as for some applications in the UK where ultrasound is still considered cost prohibitive.

“Cost was the key,” he explains. “The goal was to produce a device that could be produced for a similar cost to the hand-held Doppler devices (foetal heart monitors) used by most community midwives. Not an easy task when you consider a £20,000 scanner is generally classed as low cost.”

An expert in underwater sonar technology, Mr Neasham has developed systems for imaging the seabed – looking for ship wrecks or specific geographical features – as well as underwater communications and tracking systems.

Drawing on his expertise in sonar signal processing, the design keeps components and hardware costs to an absolute minimum, and works by manually sweeping a transducer over the skin while a focussed image is formed by the PC software.

Funded through an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA) and a Proof of Concept loan from NorthStar Ventures, the scanner requires nothing more than a computer with a USB port in order to work. Mr Neasham said the beauty of this device was that it would complement – rather than replace – the high performance scanners available in hospitals.

“It was my own experience of becoming a father and going through the whole antenatal process that prompted me to start the project,” explains the father-of-two.

“I was sat with my wife looking at our child on the screen, we realised how privileged we were to have access to this kind of care and it was my wife who suggested that I could apply my knowledge from sonar research to try to make this more affordable.”

UN statistics estimate more than 250,000 women die annually from complications during pregnancy or childbirth, almost all of them – 99 per cent – in developing countries. Tragically, most of these deaths are avoidable and a lack of access to equipment is cited as one of the key factors.

Mr Neasham adds: “There is obviously the potential to use it to go beyond obstetrics by using it to diagnose conditions such as gallstones, or other conditions that readily show up with ultrasound imaging. Even vets and farmers are interested in affordable imaging.

The Problem: researchers at Newcastle University have been working on developing a medical ultrasound scanning device, drawing upon many years of innovation in sonar signal processing. Current ‘top-end’ ultrasound devices have a price range of £20,000-£200,000, whilst the ‘low-end’ devices are priced around £5,000. Our market research has identified a growing need and market for ‘low-end’ handheld devices. The aim of this work has been to create a product which could be marketed at a lower price level than current handheld devices and hence enable the use of ultrasound imaging in applications or regions of the world where it is currently cost prohibitive.

Ultrasound DeviceThe Solution: in order to achieve the target price, the device needs to have a low manufacturing cost which places constraints on the component costs. Hence the design philosophy has been to use the minimum possible hardware in the scanning head and connect to any available PC (via USB) to perform signal/image processing and display. Furthermore, the construction of multichannel phased array transducers would far exceed the target cost and so a single transducer element is used. To minimise the cost of electronic circuitry and produce high resolution images from a single fixed focus transducer, several innovative sonar signal processes have been applied. Echo data is gathered as the transducer is manually scanned back and forth across the skin and the PC then performs the focusing and other operations to generate an image up to 3 times per second. In the current prototype the ultrasound frequency and scan dimensions have been chosen to match that of convex array scanners typically used for obstetrics and general abdominal imaging but the parameters could be adapted to suit other applications.

The Opportunity: below we see the comparison of images from high end phased array scanners costing £50,000 – £100,000 (on the left) with similar images generated from the latest prototype for the low cost device (on the right). The first two images are from a 25 week fetal phantom with some anatomical features (such as skull and ventricles). The third image is from a contrast/resolution phantom with point targets (nylon wires) and circular regions of varying contrast in a background which simulates liver tissue. Images compare favourably even before any image post processing (non-linear contrast scaling or speckle filtering) has been applied and enhancements in signal-to-noise ratio, contrast etc are ongoing through improvements in circuitry, software and transducer construction.

The University is seeking collaborative and/or licence opportunities with a suitable industrial partner who can take the next steps of commercializing the technology.

In the modern industrial world, expecting parents have the choice of not only visualizing their child in the womb, but to have a 3D printout of the ultrasound scan to take home. Yet ultrasounds remain expensive enough that much of the world’s poor never see an ultrasound machine, let alone have one used on them to address a medical condition or to check up on a fetus.

Researchers at Newcastle University have been working on developing an ultrasound that can be manufactured significantly cheaper than existing devices. That starts with using an external computer as the display and interface for a USB powered probe, and the rest of the components can be produced for well under $100.

Source : http://www.ncl.ac.uk/business/commercialisation/transfer/biomedical-sciences/ultrasound.htm

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New VirtuoSaph Plus Vessel Harvester for Bypass Grafts

New VirtuoSaph Plus Vessel Harvester for Bypass Grafts

New VirtuoSaph Plus Vessel Harvester for Bypass Grafts

The VirtuoSaph® Plus Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting System delivers all of that with a new standard of care. It integrates key design functions with Terumo’s EVH knowledge and experience. All contribute to successful endoscopic vessel harvesting of the saphenous vein for coronary and peripheral artery bypass grafting. Details are in the brochure.

Supporting Research

Endoscopic vein harvesting is the standard of care in coronary artery bypass grafting but clinical studies describing the issues involved and comparing harvesting systems have been lacking until recently.

Read supporting research in these abstracts:

Rojas-Pena et al. Quantification of Thermal Spread and Burst Pressure After Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting (EVH): A Comparison of Two Commercially Available Devices. J. Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011; 142: 203-208. Click here for a complimentary reprint.

Brown et al. Strategies to reduce intraluminal clot formation in endoscopically harvested saphenous veins. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2007;134:1259-1265.

Burris et al. Incidence of residual clot strands in saphenous vein grafts after endoscopic harvest. Innovations: Technology & Techniques in Cardiothorac & Vasc Surg 2006;1(6):323-327.

Burris et al. Catheter-based infrared light scanner as a tool to assess conduit quality in coronary artery bypass surgery. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2007;133:419-427.

Chiu et al. Reduction of carbon dioxide embolism for endoscopic saphenous vein harvesting. Ann Thorac Surg 2006;81:1697-1699.

Lin et al. Carbon dioxide embolism during endoscopic saphenous vein harvesting in coronary artery bypass surgery. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2003;126:2011-2015.

In the good old days, babushkas going for a CABG (coronary artery bypass grafting) would expect to wake up with a big scar along the entire length of a thigh (or both). You see, deep veins of the thigh are harvested and used as grafts to bypass the cholesterol plug inside the coronary artery, and to supply the heart with blood (the “bypass” that everyone is talking about is a piece of the vein shunting blood from aorta to coronary artery, past the plug). The problem of the good old days was that big long scars would not heal, would get infected or would give much-too-much pain (“no pain, no gain” days).

Now things have changed. In today’s turbulent times, small incision is done, endoscopic camera is inserted and veins are harvested with the help of the endoscope, from the insides of the thigh. Here is a new system from Terumo Cardiovascular Systems, which has been announced yesterday:

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ — Terumo Cardiovascular Systems Corporation has introduced the VirtuoSaph™ Endoscopic Vein Harvesting (EVH) System for use in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). The system is designed to enhance the precision and performance of clinicians interested in introducing this endoscopic procedure at their institutions. The new minimally invasive device provides an endoscopic approach to saphenous vein harvesting in which one small leg incision minimizes scarring, morbidity and infection associated with traditional longitudinal incisions.

Terumo Continues the Advancement of the Minimally Invasive Technique for Coronary and Peripheral Artery Bypass Grafting.

Terumo Cardiovascular Systems has announced the introduction of the VirtuoSaph(R) Plus Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting System following clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The VirtuoSaph Plus system provides an endoscopic approach to vessel harvesting, and is used for coronary artery and peripheral artery bypass graft procedures. The system offers the cardiac surgery team a device that, when used in conjunction with the “Terumo Method” of vessel harvesting, consistently delivers bypass grafts with a new standard of care. (PRNewsFoto/Terumo Cardiovascular Systems)

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ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Terumo Cardiovascular Systems has announced the introduction of the VirtuoSaph® Plus Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting System following clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120912/DE70597)

The VirtuoSaph Plus system provides an endoscopic approach to vessel harvesting, and is used for coronary artery and peripheral artery bypass graft procedures. The system offers the cardiac surgery team a device that, when used in conjunction with the ‘Terumo Method’ of vessel harvesting, consistently delivers bypass grafts with a new standard of care. The Terumo Method, developed by Terumo’s team of engineers and dedicated Clinical Specialists, is a comprehensive set of guidelines designed to aid vessel harvesters in their pursuit of consistently high conduit quality.

Proven features retained from the original VirtuoSaph system include a completely integrated design, open CO2 insufflation and one step sealing and cutting capabilities. Key new features of the VirtuoSaph Plus system include:

Improved recyclable packaging features tray-in-tray design, offering easy access to the sterile tray and an ergonomic grip for better circulation of device

Patented PTFE dissector rod, designed to reduce the force required to create a tunnel and now with extended working length, allowing dissection of longer vessels

Precise control of spot cautery, with a safety switch available when needed

First of its kind integrated bipolar cord, minimizing the number of connections and improving electrical conductivity

Unique endoscope wiper now available on an all access 360 degree ring switch

“We find that use of the VirtuoSaph Plus system has given us an enhanced feeling of control. The longer PTFE dissector rod requires the use of less force and has reduced resistance during dissection. We also value the time that Terumo’s Clinical Specialists devoted to us and our CVOR team as we learned about the capabilities of this impressive new product,” said Timothy McCoy, PA-C, at The Toledo Hospital. He added, “Since we began using the VirtuoSaph Plus system we feel more confident that our team is providing our patients with high quality conduits that offer the patency our patients require for a positive outcome.”

Michael Moront, MD, also at The Toledo Hospital, agrees, adding “The improved ergonomics and well-engineered new design of the VirtuoSaph Plus system will result in improved conduit quality and better outcomes for our patients.”

About Terumo Cardiovascular Systems Corporation

Terumo Cardiovascular Systems Corporation manufactures and markets medical devices for the global cardiac surgery market and is the U.S. distributor for Vascutek® Vascular Grafts. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan with manufacturing operations in Ann Arbor; Elkton, Maryland; and Ashland, Massachusetts. It is one of several subsidiaries of Terumo Corporation of Japan which focus on cardiac and vascular specialties, including Terumo Heart, Inc., developer of a ventricular assist device and Vascutek, Ltd., manufacturer of a broad portfolio of vascular grafts. For more information, visit www.terumo-cvs.com.

About Terumo Corporation

Tokyo-based Terumo Corporation is one of the world’s leading medical device manufacturers with $4.9 billion in sales and operations in more than 160 nations. Founded in 1921, the company develops, manufactures, and distributes world-class medical devices including products for use in cardiothoracic surgery, interventional procedures, and transfusion medicine; the company also manufactures a broad array of syringe and hypodermic needle products for hospital and physician office use. Terumo contributes to society by providing valued products and services to the healthcare market and by responding to the needs of healthcare providers and the people they serve.

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

www.virtuosaph-plus-endoscopic-vessel-harvesting-system-from-terumo-provides-cardiac-surgery-team-with-control-consistency-and-confidence-169440776.html

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Covidien Introduces Module for Philips IntelliVue Patient Monitors

Covidien Introduces Module for Philips IntelliVue Patient Monitors

Covidien Introduces Module for Philips IntelliVue Patient Monitors

Coviden has been busy lately. In the last month or so, we’ve covered three pieces of news related to the Irish medical device company, including its OneShot renal denervation system, Endo GIA radial reload colon cutter/stapler and V-Loc knotless suturing technology.

Now, the company has announced the debut of the Nellcor SpO2 single parameter module for use with the Philips IntelliVue line of patient monitoring systems, including the MP40 through MP90 products and the MX 600, MX 700, and MX 800 monitors.

The module will be available in North America, Europe, and a number of other international markets. It uses the firm’s OxiMax pulse oximetry technology to monitor a patient’s respiratory function status.

Robert J. White, Coviden’s president of respiratory and monitoring solutions explains in a press release that the product’s broad compatibility enables it to be used “across all areas of the hospital, from the general care ward to critical care areas, such as the intensive care unit and neonatal care ward.”

The use of the pulse oximetry device with monitoring platforms provides clinicians with cardiac-based readings of SpO2 and pulse rate. This functionality supports its use in what the company’s chief medical officer, Scott Kelley, MD, describes as “challenging conditions” such as low perfusion.

The Nellcor OxiMax technology includes an alarm management feature to help clinicians distinguish between minor events and clinically significant fluctuations in desaturation.

BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jun. 21, 2012– Covidien (NYSE: COV), a leading global provider of healthcare products and recognized innovator in patient monitoring and respiratory care devices, today announced the launch of its Nellcor™ SpO2 single parameter module for use with the Philips IntelliVue patient monitoring platform.

Nellcor™ SpO2 Module for Philips IntelliVue Patient Monitors (Photo: Business Wire)

Nellcor™ SpO2 Module for Philips IntelliVue Patient Monitors (Photo: Business Wire)

The Nellcor SpO2 module incorporates Nellcor OxiMax™ pulse oximetry technology, providing a cost-effective means for clinicians to detect and treat potentially life-threatening events by creating a more complete picture of a patient’s respiratory function status. The single parameter module is available in North America, the European Economic Area (EEA) and other select international markets.

“Continuous monitoring of oxygen saturation through pulse oximetry technology improves clinical decision-making affecting patient safety,” said Robert J. White, President, Respiratory and Monitoring Solutions, Covidien. “The single parameter module enables compatibility of Nellcor OxiMax SpO2 monitoring with Philips’ market-leading IntelliVue monitors. This new product offering underscores the commitment of Covidien to patient care across all areas of the hospital, from the general care ward to critical care areas, such as the intensive care unit and neonatal care ward.”

Use of the Covidien market-leading Nellcor OxiMax pulse oximetry technology with Philips monitoring platforms can lead to enhanced patient care by providing clinicians with cardiac-based readings of SpO2 and pulse rate – two important vital signs that can serve as an early warning of serious respiratory complications.

“Because Nellcor OxiMax technology relies on cardiac signals, it mitigates signal interference, offering clinicians an accurate and reliable means for monitoring a wide range of patients in a variety of settings and challenging conditions, such as low perfusion,” said Scott Kelley, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Respiratory and Monitoring Solutions, Covidien. “Patient care and safety is further enhanced by an alarm management feature that helps clinicians overcome ‘alarm fatigue’ by distinguishing between minor, transient events and clinically significant changes in desaturation.”

The Nellcor SpO2 single parameter module is also compatible with the full line of Covidien Nellcor sensors, including:

Nellcor forehead sensor, which gives readings when conventional finger sensors fail, detects changes in oxygen saturation earlier than conventional sensors and is approved for use with ventilated patients

Nellcor non-adhesive sensors, which protect sensitive skin, a particular benefit to patients in the NICU

Single-patient-use oximetry sensors, which protect against hospital-acquired infections

The Nellcor SpO2 single parameter module is compatible with the Philips IntelliVue MP40 through MP90 monitors and the Philips IntelliVue MX 600, MX 700 and MX 800 monitors.

ABOUT COVIDIEN

Covidien is a leading global healthcare products company that creates innovative medical solutions for better patient outcomes and delivers value through clinical leadership and excellence. Covidien manufactures, distributes and services a diverse range of industry-leading product lines in three segments: Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies. With 2011 revenue of $11.6 billion, Covidien has 41,000 employees worldwide in more than 65 countries, and its products are sold in over 140 countries. Please visit www.covidien.com to learn more about our business.

Source : http://investor.covidien.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=207592&p=irol-newsArticle&id=1707240

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New Method Helps Track Stem Cells in Body

New Method Helps Track Stem Cells in Body

New Method Helps Track Stem Cells in Body

A detailed understanding of cellular interactions with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) is critical when their biomedical applications are considered. We demonstrate how photothermal microscopy can be used to follow the cellular uptake of SPIONs by direct imaging of the iron oxide core. This offers two important advantages when compared with current strategies employed to image magnetic cores: first, it is nondestructive and is therefore suitable for studies of live cells and, second, it offers a higher sensitivity and resolution, thus allowing for the identification of low levels of SPIONs within a precise subcellular location. We have shown that this technique may be applied to the imaging of both cell monolayers and cryosections. In the former we have demonstrated the role of temperature on the rate of endocytosis, while in the latter we have been able to identify cells labeled with SPIONs from a mixed population containing predominantly unlabeled cells. Direct imaging of the SPION core is of particular relevance for research involving clinically approved SPIONs, which do not contain fluorescent tags and therefore cannot be detected via fluorescence microscopy.

Researchers at the University have developed new methods to track stem cells and further understanding of what happens to them after they have been in the body for a significant period of time.

Stem cells are used to treat conditions such as leukaemia and have the potential to treat many more diseases and disorders where patient survival is reliant on organ and tissue donation. Currently, however, it is difficult for medics to establish whether stem cells have survived following transplantation in the body and if they reach their target site or migrate elsewhere.

In order to track stem cells in the body scientists use superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) to ‘label’ the cells before they are administered into the patient. These particles can be picked up by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and help medics establish if the stem cells reach their intended target. Conditions within the body’s cells, however, can lead to the degradation of SPIONs and reduce the ability of MRI scans to pick up on their signal in the long-term.

Scientists at Liverpool are developing methods to visualise SPIONs in the cells before they enter the body to learn where the particles are going within the stem cell and help predict how they might perform once they are inside the body over a long period of time. They are using a photothermal technique, a unique optical imaging system, to improve SPION labelling so that particles survive for longer and have minimal impact on the function of the transplanted cells.

Effective monitoring

Dr Lara Bogart, from the University’s Institute of Integrative Biology, said: “Stem cells have the potential to replace and repair damaged tissue to preclude the need for a patient to wait for an organ or tissue transplant. Research is ongoing into how it could be used to treat a wide variety of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and type one diabetes.

“In order to fully explore this potential, however, more technological developments are needed to understand how stem cells behave in the body after transplantation. If we can’t monitor stem cells effectively, it can have serious implications for patient health. Studies have already shown that if cells migrate to the circulatory system, beyond their target organ or tissue site, then it can cause inflammation in the body.

“Labelling stem cells is hugely valuable to tracking their movements in the body, but we need to know more about how the particles used interact with stem cells. Using new imaging systems we can work out their precise location in the cell and how they behave over time. We hope to use this information to improve understanding of the MRI signal that tracks SPIONs once stem cells have been transplanted.”

The research, supported by Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC), is published in the journal, ACS Nano. The full article can be accessed here.

Stem cells continue to offer great potential for therapeutic use in a variety of diseases, but it’s been hard to track their effectiveness once injected. Knowing whether the stem cells made it to a target and have remained there long enough can go a long way in helping researchers study new stem cell therapies.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool have developed a photothermal microscopy technique for tracking a common stem cell marker, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs), over an extended period of time.

stem cell tracking1 New Method Helps Track Stem Cells in Body

From the abstract of the study in ACS Nano:

A detailed understanding of cellular interactions with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) is critical when their biomedical applications are considered. We demonstrate how photothermal microscopy can be used to follow the cellular uptake of SPIONs by direct imaging of the iron oxide core. This offers two important advantages when compared with current strategies employed to image magnetic cores: first, it is nondestructive and is therefore suitable for studies of live cells and, second, it offers a higher sensitivity and resolution, thus allowing for the identification of low levels of SPIONs within a precise subcellular location. We have shown that this technique may be applied to the imaging of both cell monolayers and cryosections. In the former we have demonstrated the role of temperature on the rate of endocytosis, while in the latter we have been able to identify cells labeled with SPIONs from a mixed population containing predominantly unlabeled cells. Direct imaging of the SPION core is of particular relevance for research involving clinically approved SPIONs, which do not contain fluorescent tags and therefore cannot be detected via fluorescence microscopy.

Source : https://news.liv.ac.uk/2012/06/21/tracking-stem-cells-in-the-body/

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Hackathon Launches API for Public Neuroscience Dataset

Hackathon Launches API for Public Neuroscience Dataset

Hackathon Launches API for Public Neuroscience Dataset

June 25, 2012 — The Allen Institute for Brain Science convened the first ever Allen Brain Atlas Hackathon last week, opening its doors to a diverse group of programmers and informatics experts for a non-stop week of collaboration, learning and coding based on its public online platform of data, tools and source code. The event brought together more than 30 participants from top universities and institutes ranging from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Poland, as well as from start-ups and established technology companies, to develop data analysis strategies and tools based on the newly enhanced Allen Brain Atlas application programming interface (API).

“This hackathon stems from our longstanding, open approach to science and our belief that putting our data-rich resources in the hands of the many and varied experts around the globe is the most effective way to drive progress in brain research,” said Chinh Dang, Chief Technology Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. “The hackathon projects delivered innovative ways of handling data, offering direct contributions to the informatics and programming communities as well as to neuroscience. We hope that this event serves as a springboard for others out in the community to use our API, and we look forward to seeing what can be done with it.”

The Allen Institute for Brain Science is one of the biggest data producers in neuroscience, with rapidly growing data stores in the petabyte range that it makes publicly available through its Web-based Allen Brain Atlas resources (www.brain-map.org). These resources include, among others, anatomically and genomically comprehensive maps of genes at work in the mouse and human brains and receive approximately 50,000 visits each month from researchers around the globe.

The public API was created as an additional form of data sharing to spur community technology development and further empower scientists to make groundbreaking discoveries about the brain in health and disease—including insights into learning, cognition, development, Alzheimer’s, obesity, schizophrenia, autism, and more—that will deliver better treatment options sooner. The hackathon coincided with the public release of the full Allen Brain Atlas API earlier this month, and a key goal of the event was to ignite community momentum and interest in using it.

Using the Allen Brain Atlas API, developers can create entirely new software applications, mashups and novel data mining tools for making sense of the large and ever-growing volumes of neuroscience data. The API offers data access across species, ages, disease and control states, providing a powerful means to compare many types of data (e.g., histology images, gene expression, and MRI) among many types of samples (e.g., ages, species or diseases).

“The Allen Institute is a leader in large-scale open science, known for providing high-quality data and online tools that advance brain research,” said Sean Hill, Executive Director of the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF). “With the Allen Brain Atlas Hackathon and their public API, they are bringing the same collaborative, community-focused approach to technology development and innovation that is at the core of INCF’s mission.”

The hackathon program was designed to provide scientists and programmers a solid foundation in using the Allen Brain Atlas API for data mining, data analysis and tools development. The event featured a handful of speakers from the Allen Institute, as well as external experts who had leveraged earlier versions of the API in their work. As a hands-on workshop, participants spent most of the time working on projects of their choice. The Allen Institute development team actively participated throughout the week to provide specific examples of API usage, as well as to team up with community participants to develop collaborative projects. Participants’ presentations throughout the week showcased their projects and progress, stimulating new ideas and benefiting from the collective feedback and troubleshooting power of the entire group.

Projects ranged from practical applications, such as using a list of glioblastoma-related genes to discover biological patterns that could shed new light on the biology of the disease and developing strategies to use gene expression data with functional brain scanning technologies, to purely creative applications, including translating genomic data into music.

Source code from participants’ projects will be made publicly available on the Allen Brain Atlas data portal (www.brain-map.org) as part of the Allen Institute’s next public data release in October, as well as a through the INCF website (www.incf.org).

The Allen Brain Atlas Hackathon was hosted by the Allen Institute for Brain Science and funded jointly with the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF).

Web-based brain atlas, a project by the Allen Institute for Brain Science, has been completed. The institute was established and financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The atlas, available to anyone for free, is a three-dimensional map of 21,000 genes expressed in the brain of a mouse.

Since humans share more than 90 percent of their genes with mice, the Atlas offers profound opportunity to further understanding of human disorders and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia, autism and addiction. About 26 percent of American adults — close to 58 million people — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year…

“This project is an unprecedented union of neuroscience and genomics,” said philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, who provided $100 million in seed money to launch the Allen Institute for Brain Science and its first project, the Allen Brain Atlas, in 2003. “The comprehensive information provided by the Atlas will help lead scientists to new insights and propel the field of neuroscience forward dramatically…”

The project has already led to several significant new findings about the brain. It reveals that 80 percent of genes are turned on in the brain, much higher than the 60 to 70 percent scientists previously believed.

It indicates that very few genes are turned on in only one region of the brain — paving the way for additional insight about the benefits and potential side effects of drug treatments. And it shows the location of genes associated with specific functions, providing scientists with valuable information about regional brain activity…

The Atlas gives scientists worldwide the gift of time, providing in one place an enormous database of information that an individual researcher could spend a lifetime trying to gather.

Many of the discrete regions of the brain perform similar functions in all mammals, and greater than 90 percent of all mouse genes have a direct counterpart in humans. By establishing this baseline of the normal mouse brain, the Atlas allows researchers to compare the brain with others altered to mimic neurological and psychiatric diseases found in humans.

Previous atlases have contained anatomic maps showing the location of various regions of the brain, but little or no information about the gene activity within them. Others have contained gene information but none have been nearly as comprehensive as the Atlas, which includes data for every major structure in the brain for nearly all the genes in the genome.

Even before its announced completion, the Atlas was receiving more than 4 million hits monthly and being accessed by approximately 250 scientists on any given work day. Users are not required to provide information about their work, but anecdotal evidence indicates that the Atlas is already assisting research projects.

“I use it around the clock, night and day. My whole lab does,” said Stanford University neurobiology professor Ben A. Barres, who is using the Atlas to confirm his team’s findings about glial cells, a type of non-neuronal cell within the nervous system.

“It’s completely essential. It’s saved us years and years of work, maybe decades. We could never have done all this, either financially or in terms of the amount of labor and time. It was just so incredibly generous of Mr. Allen to do this, and I think it’s hard to even overstate what the payoff is going to be for research.”

The Allen Institute for Brain Science, a nonprofit medical research organization in Seattle, Washington, has released an application programming interface (API) to allow scientists and programmers to create new software to traverse their growing database of neuroscience data.

The Allen Institute is developing a growing database of gene expression and neuro-anatomical data with a size currently in the order of petabytes (millions of gigabytes). All of the data is publicly available through the Allen Brain Atlas Resources website.

The API is essentially a set of development tools which enable easier access and sharing of the public database. It provides a powerful way to access data across species, ages, disease and control states, allowing for data analysis across data types and samples. According to the website, the API includes access to the following datasets:

High resolution images for gene expression, connectivity, and histology experiments, as well as annotated atlas images

3-D expression summaries registered to a reference space for the Mouse Brain and Developing Mouse Brain

Primary microarray results for the Human Brain and Non-Human Primate

RNA sequencing results for the Developing Human Brain

MRI and DTI files for Human Brain

The API contains the following resources:

RESTful model access

Image download service

3-D expression summary download service

Differential expression search services

NeuroBlast correlative searches

Image-to-image synchronization service

Structure graph download service

The API was launched last week at a hackathon hosted by the the Allen Institute for Brain Science. The event was attended by scientists and programmers from industry and academia. Source code from the event will be released through the Allen Brain Atlas data portal during their next public data release next October and through the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility website.

Source : http://www.alleninstitute.org/Media/documents/press_releases/2012_0625_PressRelease_Hackathon.html

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Hyperspectral Imaging Coming to Medical Applications

Hyperspectral Imaging Coming to Medical Applications

Hyperspectral Imaging Coming to Medical Applications

A powerful color-based imaging technique is making the jump from remote sensing to the operating room—and a team of scientists* at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have taken steps to ensure it performs as well when discerning oxygen-depleted tissues and cancer cells in the body as it does with oil spills in the ocean.

microarrayer

Microarrayer machines (A) now can mix colors and deposit them on microscope slides, which can be used to calibrate hyperspectral imagers (HSI) for use in medical applications. The finished slides can be custom-colored (B) to calibrate HSIs to find specific types of tumors or disease tissue. Close up, they resemble dot-matrix printwork (C).

Credit: Clarke/NIST

View hi-resolution image

The technique, called hyperspectral imaging (HSI), has frequently been used in satellites because of its superior ability to identify objects by color. While many other visual surveying methods can scan only for a single color, HSI is able to distinguish the full color spectrum in each pixel, which allows it to perceive the unique color “signatures” of individual objects. Well-calibrated HSI sensors have been able to discern problems from diseases in coral reefs to pollution in the atmosphere as determined by the distinct spectral signature at a location.

“Because diseased tissues and cells also have distinct spectra, scientists have been trying to use HSI for medical applications as well,” says NIST physicist Jeeseong Hwang. “But any time you tell a machine to scan for something, you need to be sure it is actually looking for what you want, and you have to make sure that the image analysis algorithm extracts the correct color information out of a complex multicolor data set. We decided to create a way to calibrate an HSI device and to test its algorithm as well.”

Matthew Clarke, a former National Research Council-supported postdoctoral fellow in Hwang’s group who is currently working in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., wrote new software for a device called a microarrayer, so named because it is capable of laying down hundreds of tiny sample droplets in specific places on a microscope slide’s surface. Normally a microarrayer creates DNA arrays for genetic research, but the team remade it into an artistic tool, programming it to select chemicals of different hues and lay them down on the slide’s surface.

The results, which look a bit like dot-matrix printing, can be used to calibrate medical HSI devices and image analysis algorithms. When combined with HSI in a medical imaging application, this effort could allow a surgeon to look for cells with a specific chemical makeup, as determined by the cells’ color.

“Scientists and engineers can create a custom slide with the exact colors representing the chemical makeup they want the HSI devices to detect,” Hwang says. “It could be a good way to make sure the HSI devices for medical imaging perform correctly so that surgeons are able to see all of a tumor or diseased tissue when operating on a patient.”

This project is part of a larger effort to evaluate and validate optical medical imaging devices, led by the NIST team members, David Allen, Maritoni Litorja, Antonio Possolo, Eric Shirley and Jeeseong Hwang. Hwang adds that the special issue** of Biomedical Optics Express in which the team’s findings appear is the output of a recent NIST-supported international workshop on the topic.

*M.L. Clarke, J.Y. Lee, D.V. Samarov, D.W. Allen, M. Litorja, R. Nossal and J. Hwang. Designing microarray phantoms for hyperspectral imaging validation. Biomedical Optics Express, Vol. 3(6), pp. 1291-1299 (June 2012), doi: 10.1364/BOE.3.001300.

The design and fabrication of custom-tailored microarrays for use as phantoms in the characterization of hyperspectral imaging systems is described. Corresponding analysis methods for biologically relevant samples are also discussed. An image-based phantom design was used to program a microarrayer robot to print prescribed mixtures of dyes onto microscope slides. The resulting arrays were imaged by a hyperspectral imaging microscope. The shape of the spots results in significant scattering signals, which can be used to test image analysis algorithms. Separation of the scattering signals allowed elucidation of individual dye spectra. In addition, spectral fitting of the absorbance spectra of complex dye mixtures was performed in order to determine local dye concentrations. Such microarray phantoms provide a robust testing platform for comparisons of hyperspectral imaging acquisition and analysis methods.

Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a technique that analyzes a wide spectrum of light coming into a camera. Instead of assigning individual pixels to primary colors (usually red, green, and blue), the light coming into individual pixels is broken down into many more bands, providing more information of what’s being observed. Hyperspectral imaging has particularly been useful for satellites monitoring the environment on Earth, but now researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are working on bringing this technology to image the human body for disease.

Until now the problem has been calibrating an HSI device so that it spots the specific color signature of whatever is being looked for. The NIST team developed a method, which uses something called a microarrayer, to do this calibration by depositing substances that have the precise color they’re looking for and calibrating the HSI device against that.

More info from NIST’s press release:

“Because diseased tissues and cells also have distinct spectra, scientists have been trying to use HSI for medical applications as well,” says NIST physicist Jeeseong Hwang. “But any time you tell a machine to scan for something, you need to be sure it is actually looking for what you want, and you have to make sure that the image analysis algorithm extracts the correct color information out of a complex multicolor data set. We decided to create a way to calibrate an HSI device and to test its algorithm as well.”

Matthew Clarke, a former National Research Council-supported postdoctoral fellow in Hwang’s group who is currently working in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., wrote new software for a device called a microarrayer, so named because it is capable of laying down hundreds of tiny sample droplets in specific places on a microscope slide’s surface. Normally a microarrayer creates DNA arrays for genetic research, but the team remade it into an artistic tool, programming it to select chemicals of different hues and lay them down on the slide’s surface.

The results, which look a bit like dot-matrix printing, can be used to calibrate medical HSI devices and image analysis algorithms. When combined with HSI in a medical imaging application, this effort could allow a surgeon to look for cells with a specific chemical makeup, as determined by the cells’ color.

Source : http://www.nist.gov/pml/div682/hsi-061212.cfm

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Virtual Medical Antique “Cabinet of Curiosities” Gets Sleek New Upgrade

Virtual Medical Antique “Cabinet of Curiosities” Gets Sleek New Upgrade

Virtual Medical Antique “Cabinet of Curiosities” Gets Sleek New Upgrade

Dr Laurie Slater has been busy collecting antique medical device oddities since we last wrote about his collection and accompanying Phisick website a year ago. The site has grown over time and the collection is nothing short of amazing. Of course, it also serves as a counter argument to those that long for the good old days and repeat the “they don’t build them like they used to” mantra.

The image above is of an ear trumpet, a hearing aid made using a conch shell. On the right is a breast pump from the mid 1800?s that’s unusually made from pewter.

Check out the rest of the collection at Phisick Medical Antiques…

It can be fascinating to explore the cutting edge of medical and surgical interventions, but we should not forget that modern day innovations have their roots steeped in a rich history of medicine. One place to explore these roots is Phisick.com, which we have featured before on Medgagdet and particularly when we showcased a fine surgical kit from the 1800s. Phisick is the brainchild of London-based general practitioner Dr. Laurie Slater, who named it after the term used in 16th century England to mean “medicine.”

Phisick has recently been given an overhaul and the content on the site has been rewritten from the ground up. To learn more about what we can expect, Medgadget reached out to Dr. Slater via phone and e-mail, who gave us an insight into some of the fascinating old medical instruments featured on the website. Dr. Slater has ambitious plans for the site, which he hopes will eventually contain the pieces from a number of different collectors, enabling it to rival the collections of many brick-and-mortar museums.

What inspired you to do the upgrade on Phisick?

When I first started collecting it was just a bit of fun really and I built the site myself using a basic HTML editor called FrontPage. In its day this software was fine for writing a personal homepage, but as the site grew in size I realized that it was not well suited for displaying a large number of items. It was a static site, which means that each item on show had its own page and each of these pages had to be individually linked to other pages within the menu system. By the time I had a few hundred pieces, the addition of a single new item had become an incredibly time consuming process and in the end the site had turned into a bit of a “dinosaur”. I needed a database-driven website and as this was beyond my level of expertise I realized that I was going to need some professional help.

I found a bright young Australian web designer Chris Sealey who despite his tender years was already publishing his own articles on design with a strong focus on the user experience. He agreed to take on the project and we spent a lot of time on Skype and hundreds of emails thrashing out the design and functionality of the site before getting started. I had a pretty clear idea of the features I wanted and not only was he able to deliver these but he also encouraged me in directions I would not have gone which turned out to be spot on; it was a really good combination of efforts. It probably took us the best part of six months to knock the site together from concept to final product. I could not have made a better decision in using him because he has done a fantastic job and has delivered a future proof site which works like a dream, is easy to maintain and looks great.

Can you give us a summary of what is new on Phisick?

The front end doesn’t look that dissimilar to the original in terms of overall appearance because having already had a number of regular visitors I wanted to retain something that was recognizably ‘Phisick’. Under the bonnet though, it is a completely different beast. The categories in the left hand menu are similar but have been expanded. Quackery is no longer listed as a discrete category because so many of these old instruments which were considered mainstream in their day are now thought to be of questionable benefit. Instead quackery can be selected with a filter, as can age, or use (educational, diagnostic or therapeutic) or media (books, models, pictures) etc. One of the site’s strong points is the ability to drill down on a massive amount of information within the database and so the search window is now a central feature. Boolean searches can be applied individually, or stacked on top of category or filter searches which results in a very powerful tool. You can identify items by a host of different criteria such as maker, or country of origin, or material of construction in various combinations. So the site is more functional and users should now find it much easier now to find what they are looking for. The aesthetics have also been improved and the photography is now easier to view through a light box and the overall appearance is clean and clutter free.

In terms of content the number of antiques has been added to and this is an ongoing process with many pieces yet to be photographed and more to be added each month. A new feature is the ‘Article’ section which can be found on the top menu. I wrote a number of articles for a GP magazine a few years ago which I am converting into a web based format and I hope these will pique interest in some of our visitors. I also plan to invite experts with a particular interest to write pieces on their specialty.

What are your plans for the future of Phisick?

Dynamism is an essential feature for any website and the ones which do not change can so easily turn into internet graveyards. So one of the longer term goals to keep the content varied and changing. The biggest constraints with building any collection tend to be space and resources. After a few years of collecting, what could once be accommodated on a shelf overflows into a room then an attic or a garage. Piled high and gathering dust is not the best way to celebrate the beauty and craftsmanship of these objects and this is where the web site comes into its own—as a tardis-like display case.

But there are limits to what one can do as an individual. What I would like to do is to invite collectors to join the site. At the moment Phisick is a single collection but I have invited a German obstetrician friend who is a collector to add his pieces. Over time, the process of inviting others to join us will make it possible to build a more comprehensive collection than could any one individual. We will be able to choose collectors from around the world with specific interests and invite them to display their collection within the same basic structure of the website. Who knows, in the longer term we might even compare well with some of the bigger museums in terms of the number and quality of pieces that are shown.

As time goes on, expanding the website also turns it into a more functional resource. Having a database of instruments, dates, makers, country of origin and the materials of construction makes researching other pieces less of an arduous task. So one of the things that I am hoping to do, beyond displaying this information already on the site, is to develop an on-line database which other collectors, historians or researchers can access to look up that information. It makes perfect sense and would take a lot of the headache out of identifying or dating an instrument.

Collections evolve over time. They can get bigger or smaller or change direction with developing interests. The nature of acquisition is one of purchase or trade and exchange. Once sold they may no longer be part of the collection but the time consuming process of photographing and documenting them should not go to waste. To this end the web site includes all pieces which have passed through Phisick but labels those items which are not current as ‘archives’. The old site had a separate section for archives but the beauty of using a database record is that they can be displayed together, or selected out at will with filters. The vast majority of people who come to the site want to look at interesting pieces and don’t have the slightest interest in ownership. Likewise those doing research or looking at one type of instrument to see if there are variations in design over time can benefit from being able to select from the whole database.

How did you get interested in collecting medical antiques?

I remember seeing my first old instrument, a polished steel tonsillotome (for removing tonsils) with a crosshatched ebony handle. I was struck by the remarkable quality of the materials, the craftsmanship and effort that had gone into making such an intricate mechanism. It was a thing of beauty in my eyes. This was the beginning of a long journey which has yet to finish. There are many factors which contribute to an item’s collectibility. Sometimes there is a great story which accompanies the provenance of a piece. Sometimes an instrument will be a “folly” which illustrates the beliefs prevalent in society at that time. Many of the items I collect are aesthetically pleasing or tactile, but this is less to do with looking “pretty” and more related to having some degree of symbolism. I find this difficult to explain because symbolism speaks a primitive, emotive and essentially non-verbal language. There has been much written on the blurred boundaries between magic, medicine and religion and perhaps it is related to this. A lot of pieces that you see on the website which are eye catching, or striking are more than just instruments. They talk to you in a subliminal way and although they born of science they are also works of art in their own right.

What are some of your favorites from the collection?

Rein Table Ear Trumpet with Tube

Rein Table Ear Trumpet with Tube Virtual Medical Antique Cabinet of Curiosities Gets Sleek New Upgrade (interview)

I am a sucker for ear trumpets. I love them; it is a bit sad, I know. One of the Rein ear trumpets, which is a big tabletop piece, is just wonderful. In the strictest terms it should probably be called a conversation tube. These have an ear piece at one end, a sound collecting device (trumpet) at the other and the two are connected by a flexible steel spring tube bound in silk. The user points the trumpet towards the person who speaks into it and this is an incredibly effective way of transmitting sound. If you were in a pub and you put most hand held ear trumpets to your ear you wouldn’t be able to hear a thing for all the amplified background noise. But on a one to one basis, this instrument is amazing and the faintest of whispers comes out crystal clear. Rein was a renowned 19th century maker of ear trumpets and some of his pieces with chased designs on silver plate were considered state of the art when ear trumpets were all the rage. He certainly threw a lot of love into making them and around the base of the ear trumpet is written ‘F C Rein and Son patentees sole inventors and only makers 108 Strand London’. It is such a cool thing to see this engraved by hand on every single piece this man made and helps you to appreciate not just the craftsmanship, the incredible care and attention to detail, but also the pride which went along with it. This particular piece is a monster of an ear trumpet bigger than a four-litre jug of ale. The silver tube coming off the side onto which the silk tube attaches reminds you once more of who made it. The whole thing is really just exquisite. One of the things that has always attracted me is the amount of time and effort invested in them by master craftsmen and the top quality materials that they were made from — there is nothing really to compare it with today.

Ophthalmophantome

Ophthalmophantome Virtual Medical Antique Cabinet of Curiosities Gets Sleek New Upgrade (interview)

Another of my favourite pieces is the Ophthalmophantome. This looks more like the sort of mask which would be worn to a steam-punk Venetian ball, but is in fact a model which was used by students of eye surgery. In its day, it would have been black but the paint has been removed leaving a darker than usual aluminium colour which looks almost like pewter. The brass eyes are made from coiled springs behind the eye sockets and in the centre of each eye is a pincer. What they used to do was secure real pig’s eyes in the pincers and then the student surgeons would try their hand at various eye operations. It is a remarkable thing to look at and this piece has real charisma and presence, the deadpan facies and the spirals of brass disappearing onto the eye socket giving it a hypnotic mesmerising quality. They are very rare things and hard to find as they don’t often get to market. It took me three or four years of hunting to find this one.

Perkins Tractors

Perkins Tractors Virtual Medical Antique Cabinet of Curiosities Gets Sleek New Upgrade (interview)Rarity is certainly one of the qualities which is attractive to collectors and these small metal rods, once very common throughout Europe and America are now hardly ever seen. The story of Perkins tractors almost defines quackery. Elisha Perkins, an American physician, “invented” his rods in the late 18th century and marketed them as being made from rare alloys. He presented them to the unknowing public (and unwitting medical profession) as being panaceas — cures for all sorts of illnesses. In fact, one of them was made from brass and the other from steel and they had absolutely no medical or curative properties whatsoever. However, his business skills were not lacking and he made a fortune selling his tractors to medics and laymen throughout Europe and England and America, along with his son who took over and continued a successful business, albeit one which was based on complete and utter fabrication. What is interesting is their commercial success in the face of what was more than a covert suspicion that this was quackery. In 1801, James Gillray a British caricaturist drew a fat cat having his face traumatised by metal tractors with a newspaper advert in view proclaiming the “Just arrived from America the rod of Aescalipius” (sic) etc. They are about two or three inches long and effectively just two small metal rods. Very few seem to have survived (one wonders if most have been unknowingly thrown out with the trash) and these are perhaps one of the rarer pieces in the collection. They have such a great story with Elisha Perkins as the “father of quackery” that they are very collectible.

Schematic Model Eye Virtual Medical Antique Cabinet of Curiosities Gets Sleek New Upgrade (interview)Schematic Model Eye

A model eye which was used to teach students and ophthalomologists the art of fundoscopy (examination of the eye and structures within in it) and refraction. Made by the famous German lens manufacturer Leitz Wetzlar. A wonderful looking piece with amulet like qualities and a finishing touch of oh so human hair.

Vecabe Dental Model Jaw and Teeth

Vecabe Dental Model Jaw and Teeth Virtual Medical Antique Cabinet of Curiosities Gets Sleek New Upgrade (interview)

A simply beautiful dental model whose pictures tell you much more than I can.

Auzoux models

Louis Auzoux was a French doctor who qualified in Paris in the early 19th century. Instead of going ahead to practice medicine as a career he built exacting anatomical models from plaster of Paris and made this his profession. The models he made were of a high standard and were anatomically perfect and he recognised a need for this commodity. Cadavers were often obtained by questionable means and decayed rapidly and wax models (fantastic examples though they were) were considerably more labour-intensive and expensive. So having good models made of plaster of Paris was a very real alternative. However, the nature of plaster of Paris is that it is a very fragile material and few have survived in good condition.

Auzoux model Virtual Medical Antique Cabinet of Curiosities Gets Sleek New Upgrade (interview)The hemi-section of the head and neck is a wonderful example and is unusually complete. This is a super sized model and about twice the size of a human head and this man has an unquestionable aura. There is pathos here, his doleful eyes speak volumes and over the years I have grown rather fond of him. They are beautiful pieces of art which make stunning displays and which tell a great story (the transition between cadavers and wax models to inanimate anatomy models) which is what makes them so collectible.

old brain model Virtual Medical Antique Cabinet of Curiosities Gets Sleek New Upgrade (interview)The other piece which I love is the brain, which again is super sized. Auzoux referred to his work as ‘anatomie clastique’ (literally anatomy which can be broken down) and all of his models dissemble into their constituent parts by means of brass pins and sockets or brass hooks and hinges. So it is not just from the outside they take the form of a complete anatomically correct model, but the whole piece can be stripped down, layer by layer like onion rings, or segment by segment to see all of the anatomical structures inside. Within the brain are plumes of fan-like paper representing the neurological tracts extending into the cerebral hemispheres. Behind the brainstem is a walnut shaped structure, the cerebellum. I remember when I first looked at this piece, detached the cerebellum, and realised that it opened its two halves like a book (it is hinged). On the inside of each half I saw these finely painted cerebellar tracts all done by hand to an incredibly high standard and realised that I was probably the first person to look at that surface for maybe 140 years. It is remarkable really that some of these papier-mâché models have survived this well. They are very beautiful pieces which blur the boundaries between art and science. This is the sort of antique which grabs me by the lapels and say “Buy me … or the species will die”!

Paris Silver Gilt Medicine Spoon

Paris Silver Gilt Medicine Spoon Virtual Medical Antique Cabinet of Curiosities Gets Sleek New Upgrade (interview)

A small medicine spoon from Paris, silver gilt hallmarked and dated to 1792 and with a simply exquisite spiraled handle. In the mouth of the French revolution!

Silver Dental Mirror by Marmont

Silver Dental Mirror by Marmont Virtual Medical Antique Cabinet of Curiosities Gets Sleek New Upgrade (interview)

This piece earned a place in my heart when I learnt that the inventor, an early 19th century Parisian dentist, was also a poet amongst whose works was a piece called “The art of dentistry”. He also was an early pioneer and advocate of the treatment of caries in the face of the widespread practice of extraction, as was the intended use of his mirror. The mirror itself is about as nice a dental mirror as anyone, even from the Palais Royal, could have hoped for.

Davis Herniorrhaphy instrument

Davis Herniorrhaphy instrument Virtual Medical Antique Cabinet of Curiosities Gets Sleek New Upgrade (interview)

The other qualities which make a piece interesting are those which tell you a little bit about the philosophies and ideas of the time and about how and when these changed direction or developed into different schools of thought. A lot of quackery devices point toward beliefs and ideas which were prevalent in society. Sometime people invented things which were useless, a bit like follies I suppose. Somebody tried something and it didn’t work. They made a few and then they moved onto something else. Because of their folly like nature, they tell a good story and they tend also to be rare and so collectible. The Davis Herniorrhaphy instrument is rather well constructed from three leaves of ebony, two joined with a hinge, mounted with silver brackets and an intersecting needle. It is a typical example of an invention that wasn’t so clever. Davis had the idea that if you put some foreign body (wood) into a wound that this would cause fibrosis and adhesions, which in the case of a hernia would seal off and secure any weakness in the abdominal wall. The rationale was OK, but the practice was not.

It is easy to look at them and laugh and to wonder what they were thinking of at the time. But I wonder if people will be belly aching at us in one hundred years when they see the interventions on Medgadget, which now seem so plausible!

Source : http://phisick.com/

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Dune Medical’s MarginProbe for Breast Cancer Surgery On Way to U.S. Approval

Dune Medical’s MarginProbe for Breast Cancer Surgery On Way to U.S. Approval

Dune Medical’s MarginProbe for Breast Cancer Surgery On Way to U.S. Approval

GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 22, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Dune Medical Devices announced today that a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Panel voted (10 to 1) in favor of Dune’s MarginProbe System for use in breast cancer surgery, as an adjunct to current standard methods of intraoperative surgical margin assessment.

Dune submitted a Premarket Application (PMA) in April 2011 based on data from a 600 patient pivotal study conducted primarily in the U.S.

“We are very pleased with the panel’s positive decision on the MarginProbe System for use in the U.S.,” says Dune’s Chief Executive Officer Dan Levangie. “We believe that the MarginProbe System will give surgeons a powerful tool in their fight against breast cancer and provide women a substantially better chance of avoiding additional surgeries. We will work closely with the FDA to complete the approval process and intend to launch the MarginProbe System in the U.S. immediately thereafter.”

Historically, between 30%-60% of women who undergo breast conservation surgery have to undergo additional surgeries because doctors fail to achieve negative margins during the first surgery. The pivotal trial data shows that by using The MarginProbe System during the first operation, in conjunction with standard methods, surgeons will have the ability to significantly reduce the rate of positive margins following the initial surgery.

About the MarginProbe System The MarginProbe System enables real time detection of cancer at or near the surface of excised tissue specimens during surgery for breast cancer. The simple and immediate assessment of the surgical margins allows surgeons to immediately excise additional tissue, significantly reducing the potential for positive margins remaining after the initial lumpectomy.

About Dune Medical Devices Dune Medical Devices was founded in 2002 by Dr. Dan Hashimshony to realize the extraordinary medical potential of its proprietary tissue characterization technology. Offering surgeons and radiologists the real time ability to identify cancerous tissues and react immediately, this technology holds the promise for a broad range of surgical and diagnostic applications. The MarginProbe System is Dune’s first commercial product and is commercially available in Europe. The MarginProbe device is an investigational device that is not yet available for sale in the U.S.

Dune Medical Devices is a privately held company financed by Apax Partners since 2004. It has offices in the U.S., Israel, and Switzerland. For more information, please visit www.dunemedical.com

Surgeons who fight cancer on a daily basis must always contend with the lingering question, “Did I get it all?” It forces those who tackle breast cancer to consistently balance the imperative towards aggressive treatment with the desire to conserve tissue. A critical leveler in that struggle may be MarginProbe™ from Dune Medical.

The MarginProbe system delivers real-time cancer detection in the OR for a simple and immediate assessment of cancer on the margin of excised tissue. In a study of 300 breast cancer patients in Israel, the reoperation rate was reduced by 56% vs. standard of care when the MarginProbe system was employed.

An advisory panel of the FDA has voted nearly unanimously to recommend approval of Dune Medical‘s MarginProbe, a device that helps surgeons make sure that all cancerous tissue is removed around a breast cancer site. The company, which has offices in US, Israel and Switzerland, has been adapting RF spectroscopy for use in differentiating tissue types.

The MarginProbe emits an electric field and senses the returning signal from tissue under evaluation. Because tumors exhibit greater vascularization, a different polarization of cell membranes, and other anatomical differences over healthy tissue, the electromagnetic signature is different as well. The device is used to detect the characteristic signature of cancer, helping surgeons to make sure they removed everything unwanted around the margin of the tumor.

Historically, between 30%-60% of women who undergo breast conservation surgery have to undergo additional surgeries because doctors fail to achieve negative margins during the first surgery. The pivotal trial data shows that by using The MarginProbe System during the first operation, in conjunction with standard methods, surgeons will have the ability to significantly reduce the rate of positive margins following the initial surgery.

The MarginProbe System enables real time detection of cancer at or near the surface of excised tissue specimens during surgery for breast cancer. The simple and immediate assessment of the surgical margins allows surgeons to immediately excise additional tissue, significantly reducing the potential for positive margins remaining after the initial lumpectomy.

Source : http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fda-advisory-panel-votes-in-favor-of-dune-medical-devices-marginprobe-system-2012-06-22

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