Archive for ‘Neurostimulator’

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AxoGen Avive Soft Tissue Membrane Made from Human Umbilical Cord Unveiled

AxoGen Avive Soft Tissue Membrane Made from Human Umbilical Cord Unveiled

avive

 

AxoGen Avive Soft Tissue Membrane Made from Human Umbilical Cord Unveiled

November 21st, 2016 Editors Neurosurgery

avive

AxoGen, a company based in Alachua, Florida, is releasing its new Avive soft tissue membrane device. The Avive is made out of amnionic membrane harvested from the human umbilical cord. It is intended for use during nerve surgeries to separate certain tissues while reducing nearby inflammation and scar formation. It’s competing against amniotic sac membranes which are considerably thinner and may be not as effective.

The implant is slowly resorbed by the body and eventually completely disappears, allowing the body to restructure the anatomy safely in that time.

The Avive has already been used in an initial introduction at The Buncke Clinic in a surgery restoring a crushed forearm.

Product page: Avive Soft Tissue Membrane…

Via: AxoGen…

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Researchers stream braille patterns directly into a blind patient’s retina

Researchers stream braille patterns directly into a blind patient’s retina

For the very first time researchers have streamed braille patterns directly into a blind patient’s retina, allowing him to read four-letter words accurately and quickly with an ocular neuroprosthetic device. The device, the Argus II, has been implanted in over 50 patients, many of who can now see color, movement and objects. It uses a small camera mounted on a pair of glasses, a portable processor to translate the signal from the camera into electrical stimulation, and a microchip with electrodes implanted directly on the retina. The study was authored by researchers at Second Sight, the company who developed the device, and has been published in Frontiers in Neuroprosthetics on the 22nd of November.

“In this clinical test with a single blind patient, we bypassed the camera that is the usual input for the implant and directly stimulated the retina. Instead of feeling the braille on the tips of his fingers, the patient could see the patterns we projected and then read individual letters in less than a second with up to 89% accuracy,” explains researcher Thomas Lauritzen, lead author of the paper.

Similar in concept to successful cochlear implants, the visual implant uses a grid of 60 electrodes-attached to the retina-to stimulate patterns directly onto the nerve cells. For this study, the researchers at Second Sight used a computer to stimulate six of these points on the grid to project the braille letters. A series of tests were conducted with single letters as well as words ranging in length from two letters up to four. The patient was shown each letter for half a second and had up to 80% accuracy for short words.

“There was no input except the electrode stimulation and the patient recognized the braille letters easily. This proves that the patient has good spatial resolution because he could easily distinguish between signals on different, individual electrodes.” says Lauritzen.

According to Silvestro Micera at EPFL’s Center for Neuroprosthetics and scientific reviewer for the article, “this study is a proof of concept that points to the importance of clinical experiments involving new neuroprosthetic devices to improve the technology and innovate adaptable solutions.”

Primarily for sufferers of the genetic disease Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), the implant Argus II has been shown to restore limited reading capability of large conventional letters and short words when used with the camera. While reading should improve with future iterations of the Argus II, the current study shows how the Argus II could be adapted to provide an alternative and potentially faster method of text reading with the addition of letter recognition software. This ability to perform image processing in software prior to sending the signal to the implant is a unique advantage of Argus II.

Source : http://www.news-medical.net/news/20121122/Researchers-stream-braille-patterns-directly-into-a-blind-patients-retina.aspx

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Researchers stream braille patterns directly into a blind patient’s retina

Researchers stream braille patterns directly into a blind patient’s retina

For the very first time researchers have streamed braille patterns directly into a blind patient’s retina, allowing him to read four-letter words accurately and quickly with an ocular neuroprosthetic device. The device, the Argus II, has been implanted in over 50 patients, many of who can now see color, movement and objects. It uses a small camera mounted on a pair of glasses, a portable processor to translate the signal from the camera into electrical stimulation, and a microchip with electrodes implanted directly on the retina. The study was authored by researchers at Second Sight, the company who developed the device, and has been published in Frontiers in Neuroprosthetics on the 22nd of November.

“In this clinical test with a single blind patient, we bypassed the camera that is the usual input for the implant and directly stimulated the retina. Instead of feeling the braille on the tips of his fingers, the patient could see the patterns we projected and then read individual letters in less than a second with up to 89% accuracy,” explains researcher Thomas Lauritzen, lead author of the paper.

Similar in concept to successful cochlear implants, the visual implant uses a grid of 60 electrodes-attached to the retina-to stimulate patterns directly onto the nerve cells. For this study, the researchers at Second Sight used a computer to stimulate six of these points on the grid to project the braille letters. A series of tests were conducted with single letters as well as words ranging in length from two letters up to four. The patient was shown each letter for half a second and had up to 80% accuracy for short words.

“There was no input except the electrode stimulation and the patient recognized the braille letters easily. This proves that the patient has good spatial resolution because he could easily distinguish between signals on different, individual electrodes.” says Lauritzen.

According to Silvestro Micera at EPFL’s Center for Neuroprosthetics and scientific reviewer for the article, “this study is a proof of concept that points to the importance of clinical experiments involving new neuroprosthetic devices to improve the technology and innovate adaptable solutions.”

Primarily for sufferers of the genetic disease Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), the implant Argus II has been shown to restore limited reading capability of large conventional letters and short words when used with the camera. While reading should improve with future iterations of the Argus II, the current study shows how the Argus II could be adapted to provide an alternative and potentially faster method of text reading with the addition of letter recognition software. This ability to perform image processing in software prior to sending the signal to the implant is a unique advantage of Argus II.

source : http://www.news-medical.net/news/20121122/Researchers-stream-braille-patterns-directly-into-a-blind-patients-retina.aspx

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Harvard Scientists Bend Nanowires 2-D, 3-D

Harvard Scientists Bend Nanowires 2-D, 3-D

Harvard Scientists Bend Nanowires 2-D, 3-D

Taking nanomaterials to a new level of structural complexity, scientists have determined how to introduce kinks into arrow-straight nanowires, transforming them into zigzagging two- and three-dimensional structures with correspondingly advanced functions.

Taking nanomaterials to a new level of structural complexity, scientists have determined how to introduce kinks into arrow-straight nanowires, transforming them into zigzagging two- and three-dimensional structures with correspondingly advanced functions.

The work is described this week in the journal Nature Nanotechnology by Harvard University researchers, led by Bozhi Tian and Charles M. Lieber.

Among possible applications, the authors say, the new technology could foster a new nanoscale approach to detecting electrical currents in cells and tissues.

“We are very excited about the prospects this research opens up for nanotechnology,” said Lieber, Mark Hyman Jr. Professor of Chemistry in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “For example, our nanostructures make possible integration of active devices in nanoelectronic and photonic circuits, as well as totally new approaches for extra- and intracellular biological sensors. This latter area is one where we already have exciting new results, and one we believe can change the way much electrical recording in biology and medicine is carried out.”

Lieber and Tian’s approach involves the controlled introduction of triangular “stereocenters” – essentially, fixed 120-degree joints – into nanowires, structures that have previously been rigidly linear. These stereocenters, analogous to the chemical hubs found in many complex organic molecules, introduce kinks into 1-D nanostructures, transforming them into more complex forms.

The researchers were able to introduce stereocenters as nanowires, which are self-assembled. The researchers halted growth of the 1-D nanostructures for 15 seconds by removing key gaseous reactants from the chemical brew in which the process was taking place, replacing these reactants after joints had been introduced into the nanostructures. This approach resulted in a 40 percent yield of bent nanowires, which can then be purified to achieve higher yields.

“The stereocenters appear as kinks, and the distance between kinks is completely controlled,” said Tian, a research assistant in Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. “Moreover, we demonstrated the generality of our approach through synthesis of 2-D silicon, germanium, and cadmium sulfide nanowire structures.”

The research by Lieber and Tian is the latest in the years-long efforts by scientists to control the composition and structure of nanowires during synthesis. Despite advances in these areas, the ability to control the design and growth of self-assembling nanostructures has been limited. Lieber and Tian’s work takes the formation of 2-D nanostructures a step further by enabling the introduction of electronic devices at the stereocenters.

“An important concept that emerged from these studies is that of introducing functionality at defined nanoscale points for the first time – in other words, nanodevices that can ‘self-label,’ ” Lieber said. “We illustrated this novel capability by the insertion of p–n diodes and field-effect transistors precisely at the stereocenters.”

Such self-labeled structures could open up the possibility of introducing nanoelectronics, photodetectors, or biological sensors into complex nanoscale structures.

Lieber and Tian’s co-authors are Ping Xie and Thomas J. Kempa of Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and David C. Bell of Harvard’s Center for Nanoscale Systems. Their work was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the McKnight Foundation, the MITRE Corp., and the National Science Foundation.

The ability to control and modulate the composition1, 2, 3, 4, doping1, 3, 4, 5, crystal structure6, 7, 8 and morphology9, 10 of semiconductor nanowires during the synthesis process has allowed researchers to explore various applications of nanowires11, 12, 13, 14, 15. However, despite advances in nanowire synthesis, progress towards the ab initio design and growth of hierarchical nanostructures has been limited. Here, we demonstrate a ‘nanotectonic’ approach that provides iterative control over the nucleation and growth of nanowires, and use it to grow kinked or zigzag nanowires in which the straight sections are separated by triangular joints. Moreover, the lengths of the straight sections can be controlled and the growth direction remains coherent along the nanowire. We also grow dopant-modulated structures in which specific device functions, including p–n diodes and field-effect transistors, can be precisely localized at the kinked junctions in the nanowires.

Harvard Gazette is reporting that the university’s nanotechnologists developed a new methodology to produce 2-D and 3-D shaped nanowires by introducing bends through a series of stereocenters:

“We are very excited about the prospects this research opens up for nanotechnology,” said Lieber, Mark Hyman Jr. Professor of Chemistry in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “For example, our nanostructures make possible integration of active devices in nanoelectronic and photonic circuits, as well as totally new approaches for extra- and intracellular biological sensors. This latter area is one where we already have exciting new results, and one we believe can change the way much electrical recording in biology and medicine is carried out.”

Lieber and Tian’s approach involves the controlled introduction of triangular “stereocenters” – essentially, fixed 120-degree joints – into nanowires, structures that have previously been rigidly linear. These stereocenters, analogous to the chemical hubs found in many complex organic molecules, introduce kinks into 1-D nanostructures, transforming them into more complex forms.

The researchers were able to introduce stereocenters as nanowires, which are self-assembled. The researchers halted growth of the 1-D nanostructures for 15 seconds by removing key gaseous reactants from the chemical brew in which the process was taking place, replacing these reactants after joints had been introduced into the nanostructures. This approach resulted in a 40 percent yield of bent nanowires, which can then be purified to achieve higher yields.

“The stereocenters appear as kinks, and the distance between kinks is completely controlled,” said Tian, a research assistant in Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. “Moreover, we demonstrated the generality of our approach through synthesis of 2-D silicon, germanium, and cadmium sulfide nanowire structures.”

The research by Lieber and Tian is the latest in the years-long efforts by scientists to control the composition and structure of nanowires during synthesis. Despite advances in these areas, the ability to control the design and growth of self-assembling nanostructures has been limited. Lieber and Tian’s work takes the formation of 2-D nanostructures a step further by enabling the introduction of electronic devices at the stereocenters.

“An important concept that emerged from these studies is that of introducing functionality at defined nanoscale points for the first time – in other words, nanodevices that can ‘self-label,’ ” Lieber said. “We illustrated this novel capability by the insertion of p–n diodes and field-effect transistors precisely at the stereocenters.”

Such self-labeled structures could open up the possibility of introducing nanoelectronics, photodetectors, or biological sensors into complex nanoscale structures.

Source : http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/10/nanowires-go-2-d-3-d/

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New bulimia nervosa therapy for patients with eating disorders

New bulimia nervosa therapy for patients with eating disorders

An eating disorders research team led by Stephen Wonderlich, a Director of Clinical Research at the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute (NRI), has developed a successful bulimia nervosa therapy that can provide patients an alternative for treating this debilitating disorder.

Wonderlich, also a University of North Dakota Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, says the new treatment is psychological in nature and focuses on eating- and emotion- related behavior through the arduous process of dealing with, and hopefully eliminating, their bulimic symptoms.

The therapy was developed over a period of more than 10 years with 80 patients treated in a randomized, controlled trial based at NRI in Fargo and at the University of Minnesota, Department of Psychiatry, with co-PI Carol B. Peterson.

James Mitchell, Wonderlich’s colleague at NRI and also Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor and chair of Neuroscience, participated in developing this therapeutic treatment.

In a manuscript explaining the research, the objective is described as comparing a new psychotherapy for bulimia nervosa–titled “Integrative Cognitive-Affective Therapy– with an established treatment from England.

“In a scientifically controlled comparison with the treatment developed by Chris Fairburn at Oxford University, which is the most scientifically supported treatment available for adult individuals with bulimia nervosa, this new treatment performed comparatively well,” said Wonderlich, who also is a partner with Mitchell and surgeon Luis Garcia at the Sanford Eating Disorders and Weight Management Center, Fargo.

“We had one of the lowest dropout rates in a scientific trial ever with this population,” Wonderlich said. “In other words, just about everyone who started the trial completed the treatment, which with these patients is important, just getting people to complete the treatment.”

Wonderlich said the trial was well-run with research teams at each site, Fargo and Minneapolis, and an evaluation team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“When we did the scientific comparison, there was no difference between our treatment and the established treatment in terms of outcomes–they were comparable, or equal, in their efficacy,” he said. “This is good news for the field because now there is another promising alternative treatment available which is a little different in nature than the Oxford treatment.”

“Basically, what we’re trying to do is get people (with bulimia nervosa) to eat differently,” Wonderlich said, “but you also have to look at the way they view the world and function in it. The Oxford treatment focuses on the bulimic individual’s overvaluing of body shape and weight as well as dietary restriction, while our treatment focuses on eating behavior as well as what we would call emotional variables and relationship variables.”

“Our treatment is basically saying that we think that emotional processes–feeling badly–are very important in triggering bulimic behaviors,” he said. “People actually engage in the bulimic behaviors because they feel better momentarily. ”

The treatment is based on research conducted with NRI colleagues Ross Crosby and Scott Engel in which patients used personal digital assistants such as the Palm Pilot to document their feelings and behaviors, a key part of the therapy.

“Now we will use cell phones or smart phones,” Wonderlich said. “Basically, we’re asking patients to report how they feel and observe the increase in negative emotions leading up to the behavior; what we want to know is what are things that make people feel badly, and then help them recognize that, and change their responses to those negative emotions.”

Source : http://www.news-medical.net/news/20121118/New-bulimia-nervosa-therapy-for-patients-with-eating-disorders.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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In silico drug design may lead to new approach in treatment of Alzheimer’s

In silico drug design may lead to new approach in treatment of Alzheimer’s

Researchers at Dalhousie University have discovered a new technique using “computer-aided” drug design that may lead to an entirely new approach in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

“Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease for which no truly disease-modifying drugs are available. Our approach is completely novel. We explore how the human body attempts to protect itself from Alzheimer’s, and then we exploit this to develop an entirely new approach to therapeutics,” explained Dr. Weaver, a professor at Dalhousie University, clinical neurologist at Capital Health and IWK Health Centre, Canada Research Chair in Clinical Neuroscience, and the DMRF Irene MacDonald Sobey Chair in Curative Approaches to Alzheimer’s Disease. “We are extremely excited about the results presented in this paper and believe that this may represent a new approach to the treatment of AD.”

Weaver says that he and his fellow researchers have successfully identified molecules that are able to prevent the disease-producing aggregation of both beta-amyloid and tau – the two proteins whose misfolding is implicated in the causation of Alzheimer’s.

“Using ‘in silico’ (i.e. computer-aided) drug design, we have discovered new lead molecules that may aid in the future development of disease-modifying drugs for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Autumn Meek whose research into Alzheimer’s has been funded by the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation’s “Gunn Family Graduate Studentship in Alzheimer’s Disease”. She works with co-authors Dr. Weaver and Mr. Gordon Simms in the Department of Chemistry at Dalhousie.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society publication “Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society”, Alzheimer’s disease is an ever-growing concern in Canadian society, and as the population trends toward the aged it will place an increased strain on healthcare and families alike. It is believed that within a generation, the numbers of Canadians with Alzheimer’s disease will more than double, and the cost of caring for individuals afflicted with dementia will increase from $15 billion annually to $153 billion annually.

Source : http://www.news-medical.net/news/20121108/In-silico-drug-design-may-lead-to-new-approach-in-treatment-of-Alzheimers.aspx

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5-Minute Nuclear Medicine Scanner Now Live

5-Minute Nuclear Medicine Scanner Now Live

5-Minute Nuclear Medicine Scanner Now Live

GE Healthcare is unveiling a new nuclear cardiology platform featuring high sensitivity detectors that cut down patient scan time from about twenty minutes to five. The new technology will be built into GE’s Discovery 530c and 570c nuclear medicine machines.

From the press release:

GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company, announced the launch of Alcyone Technology, a nuclear cardiology platform combining cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) detectors, focused pin-hole collimation, 3D reconstruction, and stationary data acquisition, to improve workflow, dose management, and overall image quality.

The new Alcyone technology will be available on both the Discovery NM 530c and the Discovery NM/CT 570c. Alcyone’s heightened sensitivity and zero equipment motion improves both image quality and energy resolution, enabling the potential for new clinical applications including 3D dynamic acquisitions and simultaneous dual isotope imaging.

With conventional nuclear cardiac imaging, a patient must hold their arms above their head for two scans that take between 15-20 minutes each. With the Discovery NM 530c, the scanning time is reduced to 3-5 minutes for each scan. This reduction in time can be less painful, and possibly reduce any patient movement due to the pain or uncomfortable positioning, causing artifacts in the scan. A shorter, more comfortable scan has the opportunity to improve image quality, allowing clinicians to be more confident in their diagnosis.

Discovery NMCT 570c GE Unveils Five Minute Nuclear Cardiac Scanner

The Discovery NM/CT 570c has the ability to perform a complete cardiac scan in less than five minutes including myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), Computed Tomographic Angiography (CTA), and calcium scoring (CaSC). The Discovery NM/CT 570c also shortens acquisition times, improves dose management, and enables more convenient patient scheduling in comparison to separate, conventional SPECT and CT exams.

Building a growth framework for nuclear cardiology departments to evolve with changing patient needs, GE Healthcare also provides a practical upgrade pathway from Ventri, the dedicated conventional nuclear cardiology camera. With the launch of Alycone technology, clinicians now have the option of upgradeability to the Discovery NM530c and Discovery NM/CT 570c systems.

source : http://pressroom.gehealthcare.com/proom/internet/NewsandEvents.jsp?release_id=16266

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Neovasc Tiara Transcatheter Mitral Valve in Pre-Clinical Trials; Reducer Stent Proving Itself for Refractory Angina

Neovasc Tiara Transcatheter Mitral Valve in Pre-Clinical Trials; Reducer Stent Proving Itself for Refractory Angina

Neovasc Tiara Transcatheter Mitral Valve in Pre-Clinical Trials; Reducer Stent Proving Itself for Refractory Angina

Tiara is a novel transcatheter device that will enable the treatment of mitral regurgitation (MR), a condition that is often severe and can lead to heart failure and death.

Neovasc is in the pre-clinical stage of developing the Tiara for the treatment of severe MR, a condition that affects approximately four million patients in the U.S. alone. Currently, conventional surgical treatments are only appropriate for about 20% of these patients, leaving the majority of patients untreated.

The Tiara device is delivered through the apex of the heart to replace the mitral valve while preserving the integrity of the surrounding structures of the heart. Due to the complexity of the mitral valve anatomy, development of transcatheter treatments for mitral regurgitation has significantly lacked in comparison to aortic valve replacement devices.

Challenges to treatment of the mitral valve include:

Complex geometry of the mitral apparatus

Conformational changes of the mitral apparatus throughout the cardiac cycle

Maintaining continuity with the sub valvular structures

Native D shape of the mitral valve

Proximity to the aortic valve and potential for LVOT obstruction

Large size of the mitral valve – larger crossing profile

High closing pressures

Left ventricular remodelling

British Columbia-based Neovasc is developing a new transcatheter mitral valve with which they aim to overcome some of the challenges of existing prostheses. The new Tiara device is already going through animal trials and the company has announced positive results regarding ease of implantation, confidence of fixation, and overall positive hemodynamics at this week’s Annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium.

The Tiara was developed to address the specific anatomy of the mitral valve rather than being a modified aortic valve. It is made to continuously conform to its surroundings with every heartbeat, preserving the natural shape of the valve.

From the company press release:

They reported that during these acute animal studies, the Tiara valves were implanted successfully in 81% of the test animals, with total procedure times ranging from 17 to 26 minutes. In the successful implantations, angiographic and echo imaging demonstrated excellent function of the Tiara device, with no obstruction of the left ventricular outflow tract, no pericardial effusion, no encroachment on the aortic valve,no transvalvular gradients and most importantly, no significant paravalvular leak. Researchers also reported early results from the first long-term animal implantations of the Tiara device, including echocardiogram images of Tiara valves obtained

approximately three months after implant, which demonstrated continuing good function and integrity of the valve. These chronic animal studies are ongoing.

Additionally, Neovasc reported clinical results on its Reducer implant for treating refractory angina. The Reducer actually restricts the outflow of coronary blood, effectively increasing perfusion pressure.

Neovasc Reducer Neovasc Tiara Transcatheter Mitral Valve in Pre Clinical Trials; Reducer Stent Proving Itself for Refractory Angina (VIDEO)From Neovasc:

The Neovasc researchers reported on the experience of the first 11 patients who were implanted with the Reducer and followed for six months or more as part of the REDUCE-1 and REDUCE-2 Registries. No complications or cardiac adverse events were recorded in these patients. Clinical parameters including the patients’ angina scores and their daily consumption of nitroglycerin were diminished significantly six months after Reducer implantation. Additionally, exercise stress test parameters improved, and functional imaging of myocardial perfusion showed that blood flow in the heart improved significantly. Measures of left ventricular ejection fraction, considered a key indicator of cardiac function, alsoimproved after Reducer implantation.

Source : http://www.neovasc.com/products/neovasc-tiara/

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Kessler Foundation expert to study effects of prism adaptation therapy for spatial neglect

Kessler Foundation expert to study effects of prism adaptation therapy for spatial neglect

A.M. Barrett, MD, of Kessler Foundation received a grant totaling $595,756 to study the effects of prism adaptation therapy for spatial neglect in survivors of right-sided stroke. The title of the 3-year grant from National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) is ‘Impact of Prism Adaptation Therapy for Spatial Neglect on Home and Community Outcomes’ (H133G120203). Dr. Barrett, an expert in hidden disabilities such as spatial neglect, is director of Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation.

“At Kessler Foundation, we recognize that cognitive deficits are a major obstacle to rehabilitation of stroke survivors, as well as to those with brain injury and multiple sclerosis,” said John DeLuca, PhD, vice president for Research and Training. “By focusing attention on the cognitive effects of stroke that often go undetected and untreated, Dr. Barrett’s research will improve rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with hidden disabilities.”

Kessler Foundation is a leader in establishing new clinical practice guidelines to reliably identify and treat hidden disabilities after stroke. Following right hemispheric stroke, 30-70% of survivors cannot reliably report or respond to external events that take place in the contralesional space. Called spatial neglect, this disorder often overlooked as an underlying factor in accidents, falls, safety problems and functional disability that prolongs recovery and increases costs for rehabilitation. Kessler Foundation’s research team proposes methods of classifying stroke survivors to predict their response to treatment. “This study will test whether our discovery that spatial-motor function predicts better right stroke recovery is therapy-specific, or is a general principle of right stroke resolution,” explained Dr. Barrett.

Researchers will administer prism adaptation therapy for 2 weeks in the inpatient setting, and will measure functional changes as well as home and community outcomes 3 and 6 months later. Short-term goals are to establish clinical guidelines, to increase the rate of detection and improve management and treatment of spatial neglect. Launch of a multi-site clinical trial of prism therapy is planned for the next stage of research. The long-term objective is to reduce falls, accidents and other morbidity associated with spatial neglect and optimize independence and engagement in the home and community for stroke survivors.

Source : http://www.news-medical.net/news/20121025/Kessler-Foundation-expert-to-study-effects-of-prism-adaptation-therapy-for-spatial-neglect.aspx

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