• K2M (Leesburg, Virginia) said it has introduced a "breakthrough" injectable polymer, with testing indicating that the polymer may have various applications for treating a variety of spinal disorders. The company said that the polymer will serve as a platform for the development of new implantable technologies, such as spinal nucleus replacement, or micro-access surgical approaches for annular decompression and repair.

• Prospera Technologies (Fort Worth, Texas) reported introduction of the Prospera PRO-III, containing a Dual Filtration System safety feature that provides a double filter protection against system and pump contamination. The system includes a color-coded screen providing information in green, yellow, and red. The PRO-III is "virtually silent in operation" and weighs less than 5 lbs, making it usable for both stationary and portable use.

• Qiagen (Venlo, The Netherlands) said that two of its tests can be used to screen for the swine flu virus which increasingly affects humans in countries around the globe. Data analysis of the viral gene sequences showed that both products, already marketed, the artus Influenza LC RT PCR Kit and the Resplex II 2.0 Kit, can be used to detect whether or not Influenza A virus sequences are present in a sample, including the H1N1 subtype. Qiagen said that if the sample proves positive, treatment with an available medication, such as Tamiflu or Relenza, can be prescribed, according to the recommendations given by the drug manufacturers.

• Quest Diagnostics (Madison, New Jersey) reported new insights into genetic factors affecting the accuracy and quality of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) carrier and newborn screening in three separate articles published in the May issue of The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. Quest said that the research may enhance the accuracy of carrier and newborn screening for CF, a genetically inherited disease that damages the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. One in 29 Americans of Northern European Caucasian or Ashkenazi Jewish descent are symptomless carriers of the defective, or mutated, cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene. A child whose parents are both carriers has a one in four chance of developing the disease.

• RaySearch Laboratories (Stockholm, Sweden) reported the launch of a new software solution, SharePlan. The company calls SharePlan a solution that enables transfer of treatment plans between TomoTherapy Hi•Art systems and conventional linear accelerators. The product uses algorithms to generate a selection of deliverable IMRT plans, based on an existing Hi•Art plan and provides patient benefit and throughput at clinics introducing a Hi-Art system into an environment with existing conventional linear accelerators.

• Starch Medical (San Jose, California) reported the introduction of its PerClot Laparoscopic hemostat in the European Union and other international markets. Perclot Laparoscopic is a hemostatic system designed for applications in minimally invasive surgeries. The laparoscopic system contains an instrument for precise delivery of AMP particles through the laparoscope to the bleeding site. The delivery instrument is attached to the PerClot bellows dispenser and enables hemostat delivery under direct vision to the wound site for the control of capillary, venous and arterial bleeding. The PerClot instrument can be employed in the working channel of a standard laparoscope for the delivery of AMP particles, according to Starch.

• Varian Medical Systems (Charlottesville, Virginia) said it is introducing a brachytherapy applicator set designed to increase treatment precision and aid comfort for patients with bronchial cancer. The Centering Intraluminal Applicator set is available for use with Varian's GammaMed and VariSource brachytherapy afterloaders. The Centering Intraluminal Applicator set has been designed for treatment of the trachea, main bronchus and esophagus. The special design of the three-centering catheter enables a centered position of the source in the lumen of the trachea or the bronchus while maintaining a channel for air to pass and for the patient to breathe. The three centering baskets can be partly or totally extended enabling an individual adaptation to the patient's anatomy.

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