Archive for ‘Nephrology’

Pain Management Devices Market : Asia Pacific to Present Promising Opportunities in Pain Management Devices

Pain Management Devices Market : Asia Pacific to Present Promising Opportunities in Pain Management Devices

Pain-Management-Devices

 

The dynamic nature of the global market for pain management devices has set in motion strong competition between players. The top three participants, namely Medtronic Plc, St. Jude Medical Inc., and Boston Scientific Corp. collectively accounted for more than 72% of the overall market in 2014, reports Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a new study.

These companies boast of superior distribution channels and ample supply capabilities that ensure easy availability of their products, validating their lead in this market. However, a large number of medical device manufacturers are looking to venture into the pain management sector, which is projected to intensify the competition and change the current dynamics in the coming years.

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Growing Prevalence of Chronic Medical Conditions Boosts Demand for Pain Management Devices

The growing prevalence of chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, and spinal problems, have increased the incidence of chronic pain in individuals. Various studies suggest more than 20% of the adult population suffers from chronic pain and nearly 10% of the global population gets diagnosed with chronic pain every year.

Around half of the cancer patients, globally, experience severe pain at the time of diagnosis and almost 75% complain of a gradual increase in pain as the disease progresses. Chronic pain has also been experienced after the occurrence of the primary disease in nearly 70% of patients suffering from spinal cord injuries, 28% of multiple sclerosis patients, and 8% of stroke patients. These factors result in a rising need for pain management and, thereby, pain management devices across the world.

The global geriatric population, which requires continuous medical intervention and care, represents a significant portion of patients with chronic illnesses. The increase in this population is also fueling the demand for pain management devices worldwide considerably. However, the increasing concerns regarding the risk associated with the implantation of pain management devices are holding people back from adopting them, limiting their growth to some extent.

Moving forward, the unmet medical needs, together with the escalating disposable income of people in emerging economies, are likely to provide lucrative opportunities to pain management device manufacturers in the coming years.

Demand for Pain Management Devices to Register Rapid Rise in Asia Pacific

According to TMR, the global opportunity in pain management devices is projected to register a healthy rise from US$3.2 bn in 2014 to US$6.3 bn by 2023, expanding at a CAGR of 7.60% during the period from 2015 to 2023. Currently, neurostimulation devices have emerged as the most demanded pain management devices across the world.

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North America led the demand for pain management devices in 2014 with a share of nearly 50%. Europe closely followed North America with a share of around 22%. Asia Pacific, however, is expected to report the fastest growth at a CAGR of 10.0% over the forecast period. These pain management devices have found maximum application in neuropathic pain and musculoskeletal pain.

 

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ClearLine IV Air Bubble Clearing System Cleared in Europe

ClearLine IV Air Bubble Clearing System Cleared in Europe

clearline

 

clearline-animation

 

ClearLine IV, a device from ClearLine MD(Woburn, MA) designed to prevent air bubbles from entering the body via IV lines, has received the CE Mark approval allowing it to be marketed in Europe.

An air embolism can be extremely dangerous, potentially causing strokes, heart attacks, and respiratory failure. This can happen if an IV bag is not prepared properly or accidentally during bag placement or medication injection. These days air bubbles are typically detected manually by simply looking at the IV lines, which at times leads to missed bubbles that are allowed to pass through.

The ClearLine IV device uses ultrasound to continuously monitor the IV tube for air bubbles, automatically redirecting those into a disposable bag. It can even detect bubbles as small as 25 microliters, which may not even be recognized with today’s approaches. The device works with any pump, warmer, or IV bag set and doesn’t require any intervention once it’s enabled.

The product has already been cleared by the FDA for sale in the United States.

Product page: ClearLine IV…

Via: ClearLine MD…

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Nanochip Mimics Nose Function and Sniffs Out Explosives

Nanochip Mimics Nose Function and Sniffs Out Explosives

Nanochip Mimics Nose Function and Sniffs Out Explosives

The dominant physical transport processes are analyzed in a free-surface microfluidic and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) chemical detection system. The analysis describes the characteristic fluid dynamics and mass transport effects occurring in a microfluidic detection system whose analyte absorption and concentration capability is designed to operate on principles inspired by canine olfaction. The detection system provides continuous, real-time monitoring of particular vapor-phase analytes at concentrations of 1 ppb. The system is designed with a large free-surface-to-volume ratio microfluidic channel which allows for polar or hydrophilic airborne analytes to readily be partitioned from the surrounding gas phase into the aqueous phase for detection. The microfluidic stream can concentrate certain molecules by up to 6 orders of magnitude, and SERS can enhance the Raman signal by 9–10 orders of magnitude for molecules residing in the so-called SERS “hot spots”, providing extremely high detection sensitivity. The resulting vibrational spectra are sufficiently specific to identify the detected analyte unambiguously. Detection performance was demonstrated using a nominal 1 ppb, 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) vapor stream entrained within N2 gas. Applications to homeland security arise from the system’s high sensitivity and its ability to provide highly reproducible, continuous chemical detection monitoring with minimal sampling requirements.

(Santa Barbara, CA —) Portable, accurate, and highly sensitive devices that sniff out vapors from explosives and other substances could become as commonplace as smoke detectors in public places, thanks to researchers at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Researchers at UCSB, led by professors Carl Meinhart of mechanical engineering and Martin Moskovits of chemistry, have designed a detector that uses microfluidic nanotechnology to mimic the biological mechanism behind canine scent receptors. The device is both highly sensitive to trace amounts of certain vapor molecules, and able to tell a specific substance apart from similar molecules.

“Dogs are still the gold standard for scent detection of explosives. But like a person, a dog can have a good day or a bad day, get tired or distracted,” said Meinhart. “We have developed a device with the same or better sensitivity as a dog’s nose that feeds into a computer to report exactly what kind of molecule it’s detecting.” The key to their technology, explained Meinhart, is in the merging of principles from mechanical engineering and chemistry in a collaboration made possible by UCSB’s Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies .

Nanotech Device Mimics Dog’s Nose to Detect Explosives on Vimeo.

Results published this month in Analytical Chemistry show that their device can detect airborne molecules of a chemical called 2,4-dinitrotoluene, the primary vapor emanating from TNT-based explosives. The human nose cannot detect such minute amounts of a substance, but “sniffer” dogs have long been used to track these types of molecules. Their technology is inspired by the biological design and microscale size of the canine olfactory mucus layer, which absorbs and then concentrates airborne molecules.

“The device is capable of real-time detection and identification of certain types of molecules at concentrations of 1 ppb or below. Its specificity and sensitivity are unparalleled,” said Dr. Brian Piorek, former mechanical engineering doctoral student in Meinhart’s laboratory and Chief Scientist at Santa Barbara-based SpectraFluidics, Inc . The technology has been patented and exclusively licensed to SpectraFluidics, a company that Piorek co-founded in 2008 with private investors.

“Our research project not only brings different disciplines together to develop something new, but it also creates jobs for the local community and hopefully benefits society in general,” commented Meinhart.

Packaged on a fingerprint-sized silicon microchip and fabricated at UCSB’s state-of-the-art cleanroom facility, the underlying technology combines free-surface microfluidics and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to capture and identify molecules. A microscale channel of liquid absorbs and concentrates the molecules by up to six orders of magnitude. Once the vapor molecules are absorbed into the microchannel, they interact with nanoparticles that amplify their spectral signature when excited by laser light. A computer database of spectral signatures identifies what kind of molecule has been captured.

“The device consists of two parts,” explained Moskovits. “There’s a microchannel, which is like a tiny river that we use to trap the molecules and present them to the other part, a mini spectrometer powered by a laser that detects them. These microchannels are twenty times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.”

“The technology could be used to detect a very wide variety of molecules,” said Meinhart. “The applications could extend to certain disease diagnosis or narcotics detection, to name a few.”

Moskovits added, “The paper we published focused on explosives, but it doesn’t have to be explosives. It could detect molecules from someone’s breath that may indicate disease, for example, or food that has spoiled.”

The fundamental research was developed through an interdisciplinary collaboration between Professors Meinhart and Moskovits, and carried out by former doctoral researchers Dr. Piorek and Dr. Seung-Joon Lee. Their project was funded in part by UCSB’s Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies through the Army Research Office and DARPA.

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The College of Engineering at University of California, Santa Barbara is recognized globally as a leader among the top tier of engineering education and research programs, and is renowned for a successful interdisciplinary approach to engineering research.

The Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies at University of California, Santa Barbara is a uniquely interdisciplinary alliance of more than 150 researchers in academia, industry, and the U.S. Army that conducts unclassified, fundamental bio-inspired research in sensors, materials, biodiscovery, network science, and cognitive neuroscience. Led by the University of California, Santa Barbara, in collaboration with MIT, Caltech, the Army, and industry partners, the ICB transforms biological inspiration into technological innovation.

Why do we still use dogs to sniff out dangerous explosives at the airport? That’s because even with all the modern science and technology available, man’s best friend continues to be the best at it. Things may change, as researchers at the University of California in Santa Barbara have now developed a device that may rival a dog’s olfactory ability. Their nanotech device is inspired by the biology of canine scent receptors. It uses microfluidics to detect airborne molecules of TNT explosives and distinguish them from similar molecules. The results of the research were published in Analytical Chemistry.

A dog’s nose is more sensitive than a human nose and can pick up the scent of explosives very well. A dog however, is an animal, and the sensitivity of its nose can be disturbed by fatigue or distraction. This is a characteristic that computers and devices don’t share with living beings. That is what brought Carl Meinhart and Martin Moskovits to the idea of developing a device that is as sensitive as a dog’s nose in picking up TNT vapors.

From UCSB:

Packaged on a fingerprint-sized silicon microchip and fabricated at UCSB’s state-of-the-art cleanroom facility, the underlying technology combines free-surface microfluidics and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to capture and identify molecules. A microscale channel of liquid absorbs and concentrates the molecules by up to six orders of magnitude. Once the vapor molecules are absorbed into the microchannel, they interact with nanoparticles that amplify their spectral signature when excited by laser light. A computer database of spectral signatures identifies what kind of molecule has been captured.

Source : http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ac302497y?journalCode=ancham

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New Fluorescent Technique Opens Window on Neuronal Activity

New Fluorescent Technique Opens Window on Neuronal Activity

New Fluorescent Technique Opens Window on Neuronal Activity

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have created a new generation of fast-acting fluorescent dyes that optically highlight electrical activity in neuronal membranes. The work is published in this week’s online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The ability to visualize these small, fast-changing voltage differences between the interior and exterior of neurons – known as transmembrane potential – is considered a powerful method for deciphering how brain cells function and interact.

However, current monitoring methods fall short, said the study’s first author Evan W. Miller, a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Roger Tsien, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, UC San Diego professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry and 2008 Nobel Prize co-winner in chemistry for his work on green fluorescent protein.

“The most common method right now monitors the movement of calcium ions into the cell,” said Miller. “It provides some broad indication, but it’s an indirect measurement that misses activity we see when directly measuring voltage changes.”

Voltage Sensing Dyes

Leech neurons stained with voltage-sensitive dye.

The new method employs dyes that penetrate only the membrane of neurons, either in in vitro cells cultured with the dye or, for this study, taken up by neurons in a living leech model. When the dyed cells are exposed to light, neuronal firing causes the dye momentarily to glow more brightly, a flash that can be captured with a high-speed camera.

“One of the tradeoffs with using voltage-sensing dyes in the past is that when they were reasonably sensitive to voltage changes, they were slow compared to the actual physiological events,” said Miller. “The new dye gives big signals but is much faster and doesn’t perturb the neurons. We essentially see no lag time between the optical signal and electrodes (used to double-check neuronal activity).”

The new method provides a wider view of neuronal activity, said Miller. More importantly, it makes it possible for neuroscientists to do accurate, single trial experiments. “Right now, you have to repeat experiments with cells, and then average the results, which is physiologically less relevant and meaningful.”

For Tsien, the new dyes address a career-long challenge.

“These results are the first demonstration of a new mechanism to sense membrane voltage, which is particularly satisfying to me because this was the first problem I started working on as a graduate student in 1972, with little success back then,” said Tsien. “Later, we devised indirect solutions such as calcium imaging or dyes that gave big but slow responses to voltage. These techniques have been very useful in other areas of biology or in drug screening, but didn’t properly solve the original problem. I think we are finally on the right track, four decades later.”

Funding for this research came, in part, from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Co-authors are John Y. Lin, Department of Pharmacology, UC San Diego; E. Paxon Frady, Neurosciences Graduate Group, UC San Diego; Paul A. Steinbach, Department of Pharmacology, UC San Diego and Howard Hughes Medical Institute; William B. Kristan, Jr., Division of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego.

Fluorescence imaging is an attractive method for monitoring neuronal activity. A key challenge for optically monitoring voltage is development of sensors that can give large and fast responses to changes in transmembrane potential. We now present fluorescent sensors that detect voltage changes in neurons by modulation of photo-induced electron transfer (PeT) from an electron donor through a synthetic molecular wire to a fluorophore. These dyes give bigger responses to voltage than electrochromic dyes, yet have much faster kinetics and much less added capacitance than existing sensors based on hydrophobic anions or voltage-sensitive ion channels. These features enable single-trial detection of synaptic and action potentials in cultured hippocampal neurons and intact leech ganglia. Voltage-dependent PeT should be amenable to much further optimization, but the existing probes are already valuable indicators of neuronal activity.

Studying neuronal activity has been difficult due to a lack of methods that provide localized, real time feedback. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have now developed a new technique that utilizes special voltage reactive dyes that only pass through the membrane of neurons. When light is applied to the dyed neurons, they glow slightly more in response. Because former techniques lacked precision, results of multiple experiments had to be averaged out in order to get a clear picture. With the new method, individual experiments on the activity of neurons can be conducted

From the announcement:

“One of the tradeoffs with using voltage-sensing dyes in the past is that when they were reasonably sensitive to voltage changes, they were slow compared to the actual physiological events,” said Miller [Evan W. Miller, a UCSD post-doc]. “The new dye gives big signals but is much faster and doesn’t perturb the neurons. We essentially see no lag time between the optical signal and electrodes (used to double-check neuronal activity).”

The new method provides a wider view of neuronal activity, said Miller. More importantly, it makes it possible for neuroscientists to do accurate, single trial experiments. “Right now, you have to repeat experiments with cells, and then average the results, which is physiologically less relevant and meaningful.”

For Tsien [Roger Tsien, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, UC San Diego professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry and 2008 Nobel Prize co-winner in chemistry for his work on green fluorescent protein], the new dyes address a career-long challenge.

“These results are the first demonstration of a new mechanism to sense membrane voltage, which is particularly satisfying to me because this was the first problem I started working on as a graduate student in 1972, with little success back then,” said Tsien. “Later, we devised indirect solutions such as calcium imaging or dyes that gave big but slow responses to voltage. These techniques have been very useful in other areas of biology or in drug screening, but didn’t properly solve the original problem. I think we are finally on the right track, four decades later.”

Source : http://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2012-01-25-fluorescent-neurons.aspx

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Lab-on-a-Chip Sorts Through Virus Specimens at Low Cost

Lab-on-a-Chip Sorts Through Virus Specimens at Low Cost

Lab-on-a-Chip Sorts Through Virus Specimens at Low Cost

A team of BYU engineers and chemists has created an inexpensive silicon microchip that reliably detects viruses, even at low concentrations.

It’s another step toward the goal of enabling physicians and lab technicians to use small chips to test their patients’ samples for specific proteins or viruses. The researchers report their progress in Lab on a Chip, the top scientific journal devoted to the creation of chip-based biological tests.

Aaron Hawkins, professor of electrical and computer engineering at BYU and supervisor of the chip design, said that currently, “Most of the tests that you’re given are fairly inaccurate unless you have a really high concentration of the virus.”

But because Hawkins’ chip screens for particles purely by size, it could accumulate many particles over time that otherwise might be missed by other tests. The hope is that, if such chip tests achieve widespread use, early detection in the doctor’s office rather than a lab could allow doctors to respond before symptoms arise and damage sets in.

How the chips work

The chips work like coin sorters, only they are much, much smaller. Liquids flow until they hit a wall where big particles get stuck and small particles pass through a super-thin slot at the bottom. Each chip’s slot is set a little smaller than the size of the particle to be detected. After the particles get trapped against the wall, they form a line visible with a special camera.

“One of the goals in the ‘lab on a chip’ community is to try to measure down to single particles flowing through a tube or a channel,” said Hawkins, who is also writing a book about aspects of lab-on-a-chip development.

Capturing single particles has important applications besides simply knowing if a particular virus or protein is present.

“One of the things I hope to see is for these chips to become a tool for virus purification,” said David Belnap, an assistant professor of chemistry and co-author on the paper.

He explained that a tool like the BYU chip would advance the pace of his research, allowing him and other researchers to consistently obtain pure samples essential for close inspection of viruses.

Overcoming obstacles to make the chips

A huge barrier to making chips that can detect viruses is $100 million – that’s the cost of machinery precise enough to make chips with nano-sized parts necessary for medical and biological applications.

The BYU group developed an innovative solution. First they used a simpler machine to form two dimensions in micrometers — 1,000 times larger than a nanometer. They formed the third dimension by placing a 50 nanometer-thin layer of metal onto the chip, then topping that with glass deposited by gasses. Finally they used an acid to wash away the thin metal, leaving the narrow gap in the glass as a virus trap.

Tomorrow’s chips

So far, the chips have one slot size. Hawkins says his team will make chips soon with progressively smaller slots, allowing a single channel to screen for particles of multiple sizes. Someone “reading” such a chip would easily be able to determine which proteins or viruses are present based on which walls have particles stacked against them.

After perfecting the chips’ capabilities, the next step, Hawkins says, is to engineer an easy-to-use way for a lab technician to introduce the test sample into the chip.

Mark N. Hamblin, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Hawkins’ lab in BYU’s Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, is the lead author on the paper. Other co-authors are Jie Xuan, Daniel Maynes, H. Dennis Tolley, Adam T. Woolley and Milton L. Lee.

The research team is continuing its work, hoping for the day when tiny medical labs join picture-perfect TVs, fast computers and compact phones in the ranks of useful technologies made possible by microchips.

Nanofluidic systems offer advantages for chemical analysis, including small sample volumes, size-selective particle trapping, sample concentration and the ability to separate and detect single molecules. Such systems can be fabricated using planar nanochannels, which rely on standard photolithographic techniques. Nanochannel fluid flow can be driven by capillary action, which benefits from simple injection and reasonably high flow rates. We demonstrate an analysis chip fabricated with planar nanochannels that consist of two adjoining segments of different heights. When nano-analytes elute through the channel, they become physically trapped when the channel dimensions shrink below the size of the particles. We demonstrate the capability of these devices to trap and concentrate by using the following: 120-nm polymer beads, 30-nm polymer beads, Herpes simplex virus 1 capsids, and hepatitis B virus capsids. Each species was fluorescently labeled and its resulting fluorescent signal was detected using a cooled CCD camera. We show how the signal-to-noise ratio of trapped analyte intensity varies linearly with analyte concentration. The goal of this work is to eventually perform size-based fractionation of a variety of nanoparticles, including biomolecules such as proteins.

Researchers at Brigham Young University are reporting the development of a microfluidic device that is able to sort individual virus particles based on size. In addition to potentially being used one day in the clinical setting as a diagnosis modality, this technology should provide researchers with high speed sorting of pathogens for laboratory work.

412bb4b Lab on a Chip Sorts Through Virus Specimens at Low Cost

The chips work like coin sorters, only they are much, much smaller. Liquids flow until they hit a wall where big particles get stuck and small particles pass through a super-thin slot at the bottom. Each chip’s slot is set a little smaller than the size of the particle to be detected. After the particles get trapped against the wall, they form a line visible with a special camera.

Capturing single particles has important applications besides simply knowing if a particular virus or protein is present.

“One of the things I hope to see is for these chips to become a tool for virus purification,” said David Belnap, an assistant professor of chemistry and co-author on the paper.

He explained that a tool like the BYU chip would advance the pace of his research, allowing him and other researchers to consistently obtain pure samples essential for close inspection of viruses.

A huge barrier to making chips that can detect viruses is $100 million – that’s the cost of machinery precise enough to make chips with nano-sized parts necessary for medical and biological applications.

The BYU group developed an innovative solution. First they used a simpler machine to form two dimensions in micrometers — 1,000 times larger than a nanometer. They formed the third dimension by placing a 50 nanometer-thin layer of metal onto the chip, then topping that with glass deposited by gasses. Finally they used an acid to wash away the thin metal, leaving the narrow gap in the glass as a virus trap.

So far, the chips have one slot size. Hawkins [Aaron Hawkins, professor of electrical and computer engineering at BYU] says his team will make chips soon with progressively smaller slots, allowing a single channel to screen for particles of multiple sizes. Someone “reading” such a chip would easily be able to determine which proteins or viruses are present based on which walls have particles stacked against them.

After perfecting the chips’ capabilities, the next step, Hawkins says, is to engineer an easy-to-use way for a lab technician to introduce the test sample into the chip.

Source : http://news.byu.edu/archive09-Dec-labonachip.aspx

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AngioDynamics’ NeverTouch Direct Procedure Kit for Varicose Veins

AngioDynamics’ NeverTouch Direct Procedure Kit for Varicose Veins

AngioDynamics’ NeverTouch Direct Procedure Kit for Varicose Veins

AngioDynamics Receives FDA Clearance for NeverTouch Direct™ Procedure Kit to be Used With the VenaCure EVLT® System

NeverTouch Direct Kit Allows Physicians to Treat Varicose Veins With Fewer Procedure Steps

ALBANY, N.Y., Feb. 14, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AngioDynamics (Nasdaq:ANGO), a leading provider of innovative, minimally invasive medical devices for vascular access, surgery, peripheral vascular disease and oncology, announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted 510(k) clearance for its NeverTouch Direct™ Procedure Kit for use with the Company’s VenaCure EVLT® Laser Vein Ablation System. The NeverTouch Direct kit offers physicians the ability to treat varicose veins with fewer procedure steps — by eliminating the need for a long guide wire or guiding sheath — while continuing to deliver to patients less pain and bruising compared to bare-tip fibers.

“NeverTouch Direct and the sheathless fiber option further expands the physician’s ability to tailor treatment to each individual patient, and avoid one-size-fits-all approaches that limit the physician’s ability to exercise their clinical judgment,” said Alan Panzer, Senior Vice President and General Manager for AngioDynamics. “Taken together with the advantages delivered by our new VenaCure® 1470 laser, and the new NeverTouch® 90cm fiber, AngioDynamics remains the clear choice for clinicians who demand tools that take advantage of their full range of skill and experience.”

The NeverTouch Direct kit, expected to launch in summer 2012, is indicated for endovascular coagulation of the great saphenous vein in patients with superficial vein reflux, for the treatment of varicose veins and varicosities associated with superficial reflux of the great saphenous vein, and for the treatment of incompetence and reflux of superficial veins of the lower extremity.

About AngioDynamics

AngioDynamics, Inc. is a leading provider of innovative, minimally invasive medical devices used by professional healthcare providers for vascular access, surgery, peripheral vascular disease and oncology. AngioDynamics’ diverse product lines include market-leading ablation systems, vascular access products, angiographic products and accessories, angioplasty products, drainage products, thrombolytic products and venous products. More information is available at www.AngioDynamics.com.

Safe Harbor

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements regarding AngioDynamics’ expected future financial position, results of operations, cash flows, business strategy, budgets, projected costs, capital expenditures, products, competitive positions, growth opportunities, plans and objectives of management for future operations, as well as statements that include the words such as “expects,” “reaffirms,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “optimistic,” or variations of such words and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. These forward looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Investors are cautioned that actual events or results may differ from AngioDynamics’ expectations. Factors that may affect the actual results achieved by AngioDynamics include, without limitation, the ability of AngioDynamics to develop its existing and new products, technological advances and patents attained by competitors, future actions by the FDA or other regulatory agencies, domestic and foreign health care reforms and government regulations, results of pending or future clinical trials, overall economic conditions, the results of on-going litigation, the effects of economic, credit and capital market conditions, general market conditions, market acceptance, foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, the effects on pricing from group purchasing organizations and competition, the ability of AngioDynamics to integrate purchased businesses, as well as the risk factors listed from time to time in AngioDynamics’ SEC filings, including but not limited to its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended May 31, 2011, and AngioDynamics’ Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended November 30, 2011. AngioDynamics does not assume any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.

AngioDynamics recently received FDA 510(k) clearance for its NeverTouch Direct Procedure Kit that’s used with the VenaCure EVLT Laser Vein Ablation System for treatment of varicose veins.

The new kit simplifies the procedure, taking out the need to use a long guide wire or guiding sheath to deliver laser energy. The product is scheduled for launch this Summer.

From the announcement:

“NeverTouch Direct and the sheathless fiber option further expands the physician’s ability to tailor treatment to each individual patient, and avoid one-size-fits-all approaches that limit the physician’s ability to exercise their clinical judgment,” said Alan Panzer, Senior Vice President and General Manager for AngioDynamics. “Taken together with the advantages delivered by our new VenaCure® 1470 laser, and the new NeverTouch® 90cm fiber, AngioDynamics remains the clear choice for clinicians who demand tools that take advantage of their full range of skill and experience.”

The NeverTouch Direct kit, expected to launch in summer 2012, is indicated for endovascular coagulation of the great saphenous vein in patients with superficial vein reflux, for the treatment of varicose veins and varicosities associated with superficial reflux of the great saphenous vein, and for the treatment of incompetence and reflux of superficial veins of the lower extremity.

Source : http://investors.angiodynamics.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=648361

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Ultrasonix To Present New Positional Tracking Technology for Peripheral Nerve Blocks

Ultrasonix To Present New Positional Tracking Technology for Peripheral Nerve Blocks

Ultrasonix To Present New Positional Tracking Technology for Peripheral Nerve Blocks

Using multiple position sensors, including one embedded in the transducer, SonixGPS provides unique ultrasound guidance for complex procedures such as nerve blocks, vascular access and prostate biopsies.

Dr. Brian Pollard discusses how GPS technology can improve patient outcomes and optimize safety:

* SonixGPS™ is a registered trademark of Ultrasonix Medical Corporation – several patents are pending.

SonixGPS – reduces the learning curve for complex procedures

It’s no secret that guidance procedures take time to perfect. SonixGPS Anesthesia is the ideal training tool for nerve blocks, vascular access procedures, core biopsies, fine needle aspirations and more procedures that require accuracy and experience.

Works in-plane and out-of-plane

Using SonixGPS Anesthesia, you can insert the needle from any direction – either exactly in-plane with the transducer, or out of plane. You will see the needle moving and its end point. For in-plane procedures, you will see orientation bars on the lower right side of the monitor that will help guide your needle and hand position. For out-of-plane needle navigation, you will be guided by an x or a circle on the monitor. Watch the video demonstration on this page to see SonixGPS in action.

Plan your trajectory before inserting the needle

You can plan your insertion to avoid unnecessary tissue manipulation and ultimately keep your patients more comfortable.

SonixGPS Anesthesia lets you decide on the angle and entry point

Some needle enhancement technologies require you to operate at certain angles and entry points to help guide the procedure. With SonixGPS Anesthesia, you have the freedom to operate at any angle and insert your needle from the location you think is best.

Shows the needle tip at all times

SonixGPS Anesthesia allows you to confidently and consistently keep track of your entire needle and distal tip during the procedure. You will see the needle tip even when it is not in-plane with the ultrasound image and even when it’s very deep.

Consistently operates at any depth or angle

SonixGPS Anesthesia is the only needle visualization technology that can operate at any depth or angle with consistent display of tip and needle position.

Needle guidance demonstration

Needle Guidance

On-screen markers will let you know the precise location of your needle tip.

Biopsy Needles shown in ultrasound

Biopsy Needles

Help increase the accuracy of biopsies by better visualizing your needle’s aperture.

Watch a quick demonstration of SonixGPS Anesthesia for needle guidance

Ultrasonix has several patents licensed, issued and pending on many aspects of SonixGPS ultrasound guidance technology.

SonixGPS for nerve blocks and vascular access is Health Canada Approved and has received CE Mark. SonixGPS for vascular access is FDA approved; SonixGPS for nerve blocks is pending FDA 510(k).

SonixGPS from Ultrasonix Medical Corporation is an interesting technology that might make peripheral nerve blocks quicker and easier. By providing procedural ultrasound guidance, the technology will supposedly revolutionize the ability to visualize smaller gauge needles within tissue by using positional tracking data and overlaying this on the ultrasound image. In addition, users can target the needle tip destination inside the body, both in-plane and out-of-plane, by positioning the needle on the surface of the patient’s skin.

By utilizing electro-magnetic tracking technology, Ultrasonix has been able to embed sensors in the needle tips down to 20GA in size, and plans to go even smaller in the future. The current applications include vascular access, nerve blocks, and biopsy routines, with more to follow. Ultrasonix will be demonstrating this technology live at this year’s American Society of Anesthesiologists conference in Chicago. The technology currently has Health Canada approval, and will have FDA clearance before the end of 2011.

Source : http://www.ultrasonix.com/products/sonixgps

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SOCOM Deploys NeuroTracker System to Improve Commandos’ Cognitive Abilities

SOCOM Deploys NeuroTracker System to Improve Commandos’ Cognitive Abilities

SOCOM Deploys NeuroTracker System to Improve Commandos’ Cognitive Abilities

This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for Commercial Items in accordance with the format prescribed in Subpart 12.6, as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; proposals are requested and a written solicitation will not be issued. The solicitation is being issued as a Request for Quote (RFQ); solicitation number is H92244-12-T-0177, and a firm fixed price contract is contemplated. The solicitation document and incorporated provisions and clauses are those in effect through Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-58 effective 18 April 2012. This procurement is UNRESTRICTED and the associated North American Industrial Classification Code (NAICS) code is 339999 with a business size standard of 500 employees. The DPAS rating for this procurement is DO-C9.

All responsible sources may submit a quote which shall be considered by the agency. The Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG) has a requirement to procure the following:

This procurement is a brand name or equal (COGNISENS ATHLETICS,INC). If quoting equal please submit specifications with your quote.

Section B – Schedule of Supplies and Services

CLIN NeuroTracker Perceptual Cognitive Training System Quantity Unit of Issue

0001 The Contractor shall provide the delivery, installation, and 3 EA

user training for the training system.

The Government has a requirement for a perceptual-cognitive training system that will improve the situational awareness, multiple target tracking and decision making efficiency of soldiers as it relates to combat. This System should be able to measure perceptual performance against baseline criteria to evaluate the quality and efficacy of current neurobiological activity. The training system shall meet the following objectives.

• Improve Multiple Object Tracking (MOT) ability through the use of 3D stereoscopy in an immersive virtual environment that mirrors real-life perceptual-cognitive processes.

• Provide objective baseline data to measure performance improvement.

• Train the individual’s ability to process complex motion, improving situational awareness by allowing the simultaneous perception of several targets in a chaotic environment.

• Enhance the individual’s ability to spread attention throughout the visual field, conditioning them to use peripheral vision cues to track targets simultaneously.

• Improvement of the individual’s ability to process visual information and reduce response time so that more time is available to make effective tactical decisions and identify threats.

• Train the individual’s ability to better track multiple targets under pressure.

• Increase the ability to perceive biological motion (body movements) and make predictions on future movement and positioning.

• Use as profiling tool, evaluating the perceptual-cognitive ability of potential command members.

The training system shall meet the following requirements.

• Shall be non-invasive

• Shall include a minimum of seven (7) different types of training sessions to train a range of perceptual skills.

• Sessions shall be able to be completed within ten (10) minutes or less so it can easily be integrated with other training.

• Shall be able to track speed of performance.

• Shall have dual person training option.

• Individual and group data shall be able to be produced for comparison purposes.

• Shall have both a permanent and portable version of the training system.

• Shall include a software option that can be set to user requirement.

• Shall include protocols and measurement of cross-modal training.

o Incorporation of physical conditioning exercise as a dual task combined with perceptual-cognitive task.

o Tactical and strategic motor skills as dual task combined with perceptual-cognitive tasks.

This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for Commercial Items in accordance with the format prescribed in Subpart 12.6, as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; proposals are requested and a written solicitation will not be issued. The solicitation is being issued as a Request for Quote (RFQ); solicitation number is H92244-12-T-0177, and a firm fixed price contract is contemplated. The solicitation document and incorporated provisions and clauses are those in effect through Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-58 effective 18 April 2012. This procurement is UNRESTRICTED and the associated North American Industrial Classification Code (NAICS) code is 339999 with a business size standard of 500 employees. The DPAS rating for this procurement is DO-C9.

All responsible sources may submit a quote which shall be considered by the agency. The Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG) has a requirement to procure the following:

This procurement is a brand name or equal (COGNISENS ATHLETICS,INC). If quoting equal please submit specifications with your quote.

Section B – Schedule of Supplies and Services

CLIN NeuroTracker Perceptual Cognitive Training System Quantity Unit of Issue

0001 The Contractor shall provide the delivery, installation, and 3 EA

user training for the training system.

The Government has a requirement for a perceptual-cognitive training system that will improve the situational awareness, multiple target tracking and decision making efficiency of soldiers as it relates to combat. This System should be able to measure perceptual performance against baseline criteria to evaluate the quality and efficacy of current neurobiological activity. The training system shall meet the following objectives.

• Improve Multiple Object Tracking (MOT) ability through the use of 3D stereoscopy in an immersive virtual environment that mirrors real-life perceptual-cognitive processes.

• Provide objective baseline data to measure performance improvement.

• Train the individual’s ability to process complex motion, improving situational awareness by allowing the simultaneous perception of several targets in a chaotic environment.

• Enhance the individual’s ability to spread attention throughout the visual field, conditioning them to use peripheral vision cues to track targets simultaneously.

• Improvement of the individual’s ability to process visual information and reduce response time so that more time is available to make effective tactical decisions and identify threats.

• Train the individual’s ability to better track multiple targets under pressure.

• Increase the ability to perceive biological motion (body movements) and make predictions on future movement and positioning.

• Use as profiling tool, evaluating the perceptual-cognitive ability of potential command members.

The training system shall meet the following requirements.

• Shall be non-invasive

• Shall include a minimum of seven (7) different types of training sessions to train a range of perceptual skills.

• Sessions shall be able to be completed within ten (10) minutes or less so it can easily be integrated with other training.

• Shall be able to track speed of performance.

• Shall have dual person training option.

• Individual and group data shall be able to be produced for comparison purposes.

• Shall have both a permanent and portable version of the training system.

• Shall include a software option that can be set to user requirement.

• Shall include protocols and measurement of cross-modal training.

o Incorporation of physical conditioning exercise as a dual task combined with perceptual-cognitive task.

o Tactical and strategic motor skills as dual task combined with perceptual-cognitive tasks.

This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for Commercial Items in accordance with the format prescribed in Subpart 12.6, as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; proposals are requested and a written solicitation will not be issued. The solicitation is being issued as a Request for Quote (RFQ); solicitation number is H92244-12-T-0177, and a firm fixed price contract is contemplated. The solicitation document and incorporated provisions and clauses are those in effect through Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-58 effective 18 April 2012. This procurement is UNRESTRICTED and the associated North American Industrial Classification Code (NAICS) code is 339999 with a business size standard of 500 employees. The DPAS rating for this procurement is DO-C9.

All responsible sources may submit a quote which shall be considered by the agency. The Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG) has a requirement to procure the following:

This procurement is a brand name or equal (COGNISENS ATHLETICS,INC). If quoting equal please submit specifications with your quote.

Section B – Schedule of Supplies and Services

CLIN NeuroTracker Perceptual Cognitive Training System Quantity Unit of Issue

0001 The Contractor shall provide the delivery, installation, and 3 EA

user training for the training system.

The Government has a requirement for a perceptual-cognitive training system that will improve the situational awareness, multiple target tracking and decision making efficiency of soldiers as it relates to combat. This System should be able to measure perceptual performance against baseline criteria to evaluate the quality and efficacy of current neurobiological activity. The training system shall meet the following objectives.

• Improve Multiple Object Tracking (MOT) ability through the use of 3D stereoscopy in an immersive virtual environment that mirrors real-life perceptual-cognitive processes.

The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) recently announced plans to deploy CogniSens‘ NeuroTracker system to “improve situational awareness, multiple target tracking and decision making efficiency of soldiers as it relates to combat.” While NeuroTracker isn’t the military’s first computer-based training system, it is the first one that doesn’t involve simulated combat environments.

The premise is simple: the user sits in front of a 3D screen displaying eight moving balls and is then instructed to follow four of the balls for eight minutes, with the remaining four acting as decoys. As the game progresses, it becomes more complex and faster paced. The principle behind the game, according to CogniSens, is that “the brain structurally rewires itself if stimulated intensively and repeatedly…the same way muscle cells improve with physical conditioning.”

NeuroTracker has already been used by several NHL and NFL teams to improve their perceptual-cognitive abilities on the ice/field. In addition to testing and training current commandos, NeuroTracker will also be used to assess the cognitive abilities of prospective operatives to see if they fit the ranks of SOCOM’s elite.

Source : https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=861942fbbf5c9f1d6a6f0f1284315c72&tab=core&_cview=0

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Robot for Whole-cell Patch-Clamp Electrophysiology of Neurons In Vivo

Robot for Whole-cell Patch-Clamp Electrophysiology of Neurons In Vivo

Robot for Whole-cell Patch-Clamp Electrophysiology of Neurons In Vivo

Gaining access to the inner workings of a neuron in the living brain offers a wealth of useful information: its patterns of electrical activity, its shape, even a profile of which genes are turned on at a given moment. However, achieving this entry is such a painstaking task that it is considered an art form; it is so difficult to learn that only a small number of labs in the world practice it.

Researchers at MIT and Georgia Tech have developed a way to automate a process called whole-cell patch clamping, which involves bringing a tiny hollow glass pipette in contact with the cell membrane of a neuron, then opening up a small pore in the membrane to record the electrical activity within the cell. (Click image for high-resolution version. Credit: Sputnik Animation and MIT McGovern Institute)

But that could soon change: Researchers at MIT and the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a way to automate the process of finding and recording information from neurons in the living brain. The researchers have shown that a robotic arm guided by a cell-detecting computer algorithm can identify and record from neurons in the living mouse brain with better accuracy and speed than a human experimenter.

The new automated process eliminates the need for months of training and provides long-sought information about living cells’ activities. Using this technique, scientists could classify the thousands of different types of cells in the brain, map how they connect to each other, and figure out how diseased cells differ from normal cells.

The project is a collaboration between the labs of Ed Boyden, associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, and Craig Forest, an assistant professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech.

“Our team has been interdisciplinary from the beginning, and this has enabled us to bring the principles of precision machine design to bear upon the study of the living brain,” Forest says. His graduate student, Suhasa Kodandaramaiah, spent the past two years as a visiting student at MIT, and is the lead author of the study, which appears in the May 6 issue of Nature Methods.

The method could be particularly useful in studying brain disorders such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, autism and epilepsy, Boyden says. “In all these cases, a molecular description of a cell that is integrated with [its] electrical and circuit properties … has remained elusive,” says Boyden, who is a member of MIT’s Media Lab and McGovern Institute for Brain Research. “If we could really describe how diseases change molecules in specific cells within the living brain, it might enable better drug targets to be found.”

Automation

Kodandaramaiah, Boyden and Forest set out to automate a 30-year-old technique known as whole-cell patch clamping, which involves bringing a tiny hollow glass pipette in contact with the cell membrane of a neuron, then opening up a small pore in the membrane to record the electrical activity within the cell. This skill usually takes a graduate student or postdoc several months to learn.

MIT and Georgia Tech researchers developed a four-step process that a robotic arm guided by a cell-detecting computer algorithm uses to find and record information from neurons in the living brain. The pipette is lowered to a target zone in the brain, the pipette is advanced until a neuron is detected, a seal is formed between the pipette and the cell, and a small pore is opened in the membrane to record the electrical activity within the cell. (Click image for high-resolution version. Credit: MIT and Georgia Tech)

Kodandaramaiah spent about four months learning the manual patch-clamp technique, giving him an appreciation for its difficulty. “When I got reasonably good at it, I could sense that even though it is an art form, it can be reduced to a set of stereotyped tasks and decisions that could be executed by a robot,” he says.

To that end, Kodandaramaiah and his colleagues built a robotic arm that lowers a glass pipette into the brain of an anesthetized mouse with micrometer accuracy. As it moves, the pipette monitors a property called electrical impedance — a measure of how difficult it is for electricity to flow out of the pipette. If there are no cells around, electricity flows and impedance is low. When the tip hits a cell, electricity can’t flow as well and impedance goes up.

The pipette takes two-micrometer steps, measuring impedance 10 times per second. Once it detects a cell, it can stop instantly, preventing it from poking through the membrane. “This is something a robot can do that a human can’t,” Boyden says.

Once the pipette finds a cell, it applies suction to form a seal with the cell’s membrane. Then, the electrode can break through the membrane to record the cell’s internal electrical activity. The robotic system can detect cells with 90 percent accuracy, and establish a connection with the detected cells about 40 percent of the time.

The researchers also showed that their method can be used to determine the shape of the cell by injecting a dye; they are now working on extracting a cell’s contents to read its genetic profile.

Development of the new technology was funded primarily by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the MIT Media Lab.

New era for robotics

The researchers recently created a startup company, Neuromatic Devices, to commercialize the device.

MIT researcher Ed Boyden (left) and Georgia Tech researchers Suhasa Kodandaramaiah (seated) and Craig Forest have developed a way to automate the process of finding and recording information from neurons in the living brain. (Click image for high-resolution version. Credit: MIT)

The researchers are now working on scaling up the number of electrodes so they can record from multiple neurons at a time, potentially allowing them to determine how different parts of the brain are connected.

They are also working with collaborators to start classifying the thousands of types of neurons found in the brain. This “parts list” for the brain would identify neurons not only by their shape — which is the most common means of classification — but also by their electrical activity and genetic profile.

“If you really want to know what a neuron is, you can look at the shape, and you can look at how it fires. Then, if you pull out the genetic information, you can really know what’s going on,” Forest says. “Now you know everything. That’s the whole picture.”

Boyden says he believes this is just the beginning of using robotics in neuroscience to study living animals. A robot like this could potentially be used to infuse drugs at targeted points in the brain, or to deliver gene therapy vectors. He hopes it will also inspire neuroscientists to pursue other kinds of robotic automation — such as in optogenetics, the use of light to perturb targeted neural circuits and determine the causal role that neurons play in brain functions.

Neuroscience is one of the few areas of biology in which robots have yet to make a big impact, Boyden says. “The genome project was done by humans and a giant set of robots that would do all the genome sequencing. In directed evolution or in synthetic biology, robots do a lot of the molecular biology,” he says. “In other parts of biology, robots are essential.”

Whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology of neurons is a gold-standard technique for high-fidelity analysis of the biophysical mechanisms of neural computation and pathology, but it requires great skill to perform. We have developed a robot that automatically performs patch clamping in vivo, algorithmically detecting cells by analyzing the temporal sequence of electrode impedance changes. We demonstrate good yield, throughput and quality of automated intracellular recording in mouse cortex and hippocampus.

Source : http://gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/robot-brain-recording/

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Simple assay to improve treatment for idiopathic membranous nephropathy

Simple assay to improve treatment for idiopathic membranous nephropathy

Simple blood tests could help physicians decide which patients with a particular autoimmune kidney disease can forgo potentially toxic medications and which need to be treated, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

Idiopathic membranous nephropathy is an autoimmune kidney disease that leads to kidney failure in at least half of patients if left untreated. Immunosuppressive therapy is effective, but toxic. “It is unclear who should be treated, when treatment should be started, and how long treatment should be continued. We need better tools to aid decision-making,” said Julia Hofstra, MD, PhD (Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, in The Netherlands).

Researchers have recently identified antibodies—called antiPLA2R autoantibodies—that form and damage the kidneys when the disease develops. Clinicians do not have a standard technique for measuring these autoantibodies nor do they know whether autoantibody levels provide any information about the severity of patients’ disease.

Hofstra, in collaboration with Hanna Debiec, PhD (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, in France), Paul Brenchley, PhD (University of Manchester, in the United Kingdom), and others compared two different blood tests (called IIFT and ELISA) to measure antiPLA2R autoantibodies in 117 patients with idiopathic membranous nephropathy.

Among the major findings:

•74% of patients tested positive for antiPLA2R antibodies by IIFT and 72% tested positive by ELISA.

•Concordance between both tests was excellent, with 94% agreement.

•Antibody levels significantly correlated with the severity of patients’ disease.

•Spontaneous remissions occurred much less frequently among patients with high antibody levels (38% versus 4% in the lowest and highest groups, respectively).

The findings reveal high agreement between IIFT and ELISA measurements of antiPLA2R antibody levels and highlight the important role of these antibodies in idiopathic membranous nephropathy, given the relationships between antiPLA2R levels, disease severity, and remission rates.

“The data provide hope that in the near future, antiPLA2R antibodies can be detected with a simple assay and measuring the antibody levels may improve optimal treatment in patients with idiopathic membranous nephropathy,” said Dr. Hofstra.

Source : http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120907/Simple-assay-to-improve-treatment-for-idiopathic-membranous-nephropathy.aspx

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