• Covidien (Boulder, Colorado) said that it has received FDA clearance to market its Mallinckrodt TaperGuard Evac endotracheal tube. According to the company, the TaperGuard endotracheal tube reduces leakage past the cuff by at least 81%, compared with the Mallinckrodt Hi-Lo endotracheal tube, potentially reducing the risk of postsurgical complications that may be caused by aspiration of fluids into the lungs.

• Metabolon (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) said that a new study has been published identifying biomarkers for periodontitis and gingivitis. Using Metabolon's biochemical profiling technology, mechanistically-linked biomarkers were discovered and validated from the crevicular fluid of patients suffering from periodontitis and gingivitis. Several hundred biochemicals were identified in a few microliters of the crevicular fluid found between the tooth and gums. The biomarkers suggest that the diseases are mediated by enhanced purine degradation, a biochemical pathway associated with reactive oxygen species production and cellular inflammation.

• Mpathy Medical (Raynham, Massachusetts) released the initial clinical results for its newest product, Omnisure, a full length sling for treatment of female stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Omnisure uses the narrowest needle option available allowing an incision-less exit at the skin level. Omnisure's SmartFix technology reduces the amount of mesh in the obturator space resulting in minimal complications. "My use of Omnisure for the surgical treatment of SUI has resulted in exceptionally high cure rates and patient satisfaction," said Kathryn Arendt, MD, Center for Women's Health at Evergreen, Kirkland, Washington. "The lightweight mesh and narrow needle allow me to perform the procedure with minimal tissue trauma in the obturator tunnel."

• Spectranetics (Colorado Springs, Colorado) said that it has filed a 510(k) application with the FDA seeking clearance for the treatment of in-stent restenosis (ISR) in the legs with its peripheral atherectomy products. ISR is caused by the re-growth of tissue within the stent, known as neointimal hyperplasia, which can lead to blockages in the affected leg artery. The 510(k) application makes reference to the results of bench testing associated with the interaction of laser and nitinol stents. This testing shows that stents subjected to extensive fatigue testing following laser interaction had no fatigue-related failures. The company's Vascular Intervention (VI) products include a range of peripheral and cardiac laser catheters for ablation of occluded arteries above and below the knee and within coronary arteries.

• Trophos (Marseille, France) reported the launch of the new generation of its fluorescence fast plate imaging system, the Plate Runner HD. Trophos originally developed the Plate Runner HD to speed up its own screening campaigns for drug discovery and development. The Plate Runner HD is a rapid fluorescence 96-plate imager giving full 7 mm well images in single snapshots (ie no mosaic reconstruction), embedding three commonly used wavelength illumination lamps using fast-switching LED technology, thus leading to more homogeneous light, very long life time (100 000 hours against 5000 hours for xenon or mercury lamps), higher speed and dramatically reduced maintenance costs. Images are given in standard 1024 x 1024 definition but also in higher 2048 x 2048, 4096 x 4096 and even 8192 x 8192 pixels definition, leading to details of about 1 micron in size.

• VeriChip (Delray Beach, Florida) and its development partner Receptors (Chaska, Minnesota), a technology company whose Affinity by Design chemistry platform can be applied to the development of selective binding products, reported further details of the development of its virus triage detection system for the H1N1 virus. The virus triage detection system, based on Receptors' Affinity by Design CARA platform, is intended to initially provide two levels of identification within minutes. Once developed, utilizing a simple test tube or strip device format that can be combined with an inexpensive reader, it is expected that the first level will prep the sample and identify the agent as a flu or non-flu virus, and the second level will sub-type (e.g. H1N1) classify the flu virus and alert the user to the presence of pandemic threat viruses. Additionally, VeriChip believes the influenza triage diagnostic system will be scalable and will be able to be rapidly adapted to identify new strains of influenza and other viruses as they evolve, giving the virus triage detection system value for future testing applications in healthcare.