A Medical Device Daily Staff Report

Synthes (West Chester, Pennsylvania) and Materialise (Leuven, Belgium) reported an exclusive partnership for the development and distribution of Materialise's solutions for Cranio-Maxillofacial (CMF) surgery.

Materialise will provide pre-operative planning services directly to the surgeon via interactive, web-based collaboration tools, and will fabricate intra-operative guides and anatomical models. Synthes will distribute these intra-operative guides and models and continue to deliver patient specific surgical implants.

"This partnership will allow Synthes to continue our mission to improve patient care by optimizing operating room time and by improving the precision of surgery," said Michael Orsinger, president/CEO of Synthes. "Materialise and Synthes share the same core values: a desire to assist the patient and surgeon, as well as quality, innovation, education, and integrity. The partnership will reinforce our position as an innovator in CMF."

Ecron acquires majority stake in aCROnordic

Ecron Acunova (Frankfurt, Germany), a full-service contract research organization (CRO), said it has acquired a majority stake of aCROnordic (Hoersholm, Denmark), a CRO specialized in clinical research in Nordic countries covering Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway.

"A recent change in the strategy of sponsors in the healthcare industry asks for more global presence of preferred provider CROs," said D A Prasanna, founder and chairman of Ecron. He added that the merger yields "substantial synergy" to both companies because of their respective track records, local knowledge in their geographies, and reputation.

Artelon CMC Soft wins CE mark

In collaboration with Small Bone Innovation (SBi; Morrisville, Pennsylvania), Artimplant (Vastra Frolunda, Sweden) says it has developed a new product in its Artelon Spacer range with a similar user-friendly textile design to Artelon Tissue Reinforcement. The product, Artelon CMC Soft, has been granted CE-approval by the certification body Lloyd's and has thus been granted clearance for marketing in Europe.

According to the company, the major difference between the old Artelon CMC Spacer and the new Artelon CMC Soft is that the size can be adjusted and can thus be adapted to the requirements of each individual patient. Artimplant estimates that Artelon CMC Soft will gradually replace existing Spacer products for thumb base osteoarthritis in the CMC-joint.

BK introduces robotic ultrasound technology

BK Medical, a wholly owned subsidiary of Analogic (both Peabody, Massachusetts), introduced Advanced Robotic Ultrasound Technology (ART), what it bills as the industry's first complete ultrasound imaging solution for robotic surgery. This technology, which includes the Flex Focus 700 Ultrasound System, specialized transducers, and tools designed specifically for robotic-assisted surgery, was recently introduced at the 20th Annual European Association of Urology (EAU; Arnhem, the Netherlands) Congress in Vienna. ART is a performance ultrasound solution that may benefit surgeons performing robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) procedures, and robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN) procedures.

The new ART solution includes the Flex Focus 700, the 3DART high-resolution endocavity transducer, the RST Robotic Stationary Transducer Arm for securing the endocavity transducer during procedures, and the first dedicated robotic transducer, ProART.

The new 3DART endocavity transducer is small in diameter for minimal patient discomfort with no moving parts touching the patient. The resulting 3-D data cube can be manipulated to assess anatomy and geometry of the prostate prior to surgery for planning purposes. During surgery, the 3DART transducer may also help identify useful landmarks and assessment of the posterior border of the prostate in real time during dissection.

The company's new ProART specialized robotic transducer is designed to address the challenges of ultrasound imaging during robotic-assisted surgery. The transducer is a curved linear array that images from 12-5 MHz with 2-D, color and spectral Doppler, and it can easily fit into a standard trocar. The ProART transducer has the potential to provide ultrasound guidance and verification during RAPN procedures. Early indications for ultrasound imaging also include identifying the pudendal arteries and nerves during RARP.

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