• Abbott (Abbott Park, Illinois) said the XCELL trial, a clinical trial to investigate the use of minimally invasive stent placement for severe peripheral arterial disease (PAD) below the knee recently enrolled its 120th and final patient. The study, sponsored by VIVA Physicians (VPI) and supported by a research grant from Abbott, is the first in the U.S. to evaluate Abbott Vascular's Xpert nitinol stent in the arterial vessels below the knee. Self-expanding stents are tiny cylinders made of metal mesh that are placed in blocked arteries during minimally invasive interventional procedures.

• Evogen (Kansas City, Missouri) said it is developing multi-faceted capabilities to address the air-monitoring, detection and diagnosis of Influenza A H1N1, or Swine Flu, in addition to several prevalent flu types. Evogen's molecular PCR diagnostic test is capable of rapidly and specifically detecting H1N1 pandemic Influenza, using HyBeacons technology. The test can be implemented on PCR equipment currently used in laboratories globally or can be operated on Evogen's EvoCycler HD12 – which provides high-definition PCR results in a simple-to-use molecular diagnostic system that can be implemented at the "front line" in this global pandemic.

• Howard Leight (Smithfield, Rhode Island) has introduced QuietDose a personal dosimeter that measures and records a worker's actual in-ear exposure to noise over an entire work shift. The product is designed towards stopping the progression of occupational hearing loss and ensuring employer compliance with hearing safety regulations. The QuietDose system consists of a small Exposure Smart Protector (ESP) Dosimeter that's worn by employees in a shirt pocket or on the back of a hardhat; protective eartips or an earmuff with integrated microphones that record real-time in-ear noise levels; and a connecting harness. An infrared reader enables safety managers to retrieve data from the ESP Dosimeter at the end of each shift or work week and analyze the results on a personal computer.

• Illumina (San Diego) reported software advancements for its sequencing platform that enable real time analysis and provide a significant reduction in computing infrastructure requirements. These software improvements, in combination with the new Genome Analyzer, enable researchers to increase their sequencing output up to 65% relative to the Genome Analyzer. The Illumina Genome Analyzer offers a set of supported applications, including whole transcriptome profiling and discovery, epigenetic studies, whole genome resequencing, de novo sequencing, targeted resequencing, ChIP-sequencing, bi-sulfite sequencing (DNA methylation), small RNA, mRNA, tag profiling and metagenomics.

PEAK Surgical (Palo Alto, California) has released results from a preclinical study demonstrating that the use of its PEAK PlasmaBlade is associated with improved fascia incision healing in an in vivo model compared to the use of traditional electrosurgery. Overall, the PlasmaBlade demonstrated reductions in acute thermal injury depth, healed fascial scar width and inflammatory response with greater healed wound strength. The PEAK PlasmaBlade is a family of disposable, low-temperature surgical cutting and coagulation devices that offer the exacting control of a scalpel and the bleeding control of traditional electrosurgery without the extensive collateral damage.

PerkinElmer (Waltham, Massachusetts) has introduced the BACs on Beads technology for the rapid and cost effective detection of chromosomal abnormalities. The company says in BACs on Beads, a DNA probe targeted to the genomic location of interest is bound to a polystyrene bead. Complementary DNA in the sample hybridizes to the probe DNA on the bead and can then be measured to detect specific chromosomal abnormalities.