• Abiomed (Danvers, Massachusetts) said it has received FDA clearance for its Impella 5.0 and Impella LD Circulatory Support Devices. This clearance designates Impella 5.0 and Impella LD to provide circulatory support for periods of up to six hours. The Impella 5.0 and Impella LD devices are minimally invasive catheter-based pumps, designed to provide temporary circulatory support and reduce the workload of the heart muscle. The pump is approximately the size of a pencil with a small nine French catheter, which drives up to five liters of blood flow per minute, a flow rate typically adequate to fully support the average adult.

The Chamberlain Group (Great Barrington, Massachusetts), producers of anatomically accurate surgical trainers, today announced their new Uterine Robotic Surgery Trainer. The trainer is a lifelike, full-scale model of the human uterus and vaginal canal. It is composed of Chamberlain's polymer that looks and feels like living tissue, has appropriate elasticity and can be cut and sutured. The Uterine Trainer has a replaceable uterus which permits unlimited practice. Physicians using the new Uterine Trainer may practice robotic skills used in myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroid tumors), hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and sacrocolpopexy (correcting vaginal vault prolapse). Following a practice myomectomy using the trainer, the physician may perform a colpotomy (separating the uterus from the vagina) which is a skill performed during a hysterectomy.

• Covidien (Phoenix) said that its surgical devices business unit has launched the Duet TRS reload with tissue reinforcement. The Duet TRS reload offers preloaded tissue reinforcement on the Endo GIA universal range of laparoscopic staplers. The reinforcement material is a synthetic absorbable polymer that is preloaded on each SULU. The fixation of the reinforcement material keeps it flat and secure during placement and manipulation on the tissue, which is a key benefit unique to this offering. The reinforcement material and anchoring sutures that secure the material on the Duet TRS reloads are made of Biosyn polymer, which has been sold by Covidien for nearly 10 years. Studies indicate that the absorbable material can be expected to retain measurable mechanical strength through 14 days and that absorption is essentially complete between 90 and 110 days.

• Fletcher-Flora Health Care Systems (Anaheim, California) reported the release of an entry-level, web-based laboratory data management solution leveraging the robust design of the FFlex eSuite laboratory information system. The basic package includes order entry, result review, consolidated reporting, and quality control for a single user station and a single instrument. Additional users and instruments can be added as desired. Completing the package is a streamlined system implementation process that enables a new FFlex eSuite MGR to be up and running in a very short time frame.

• RaySearch Laboratories' (Stockholm, Sweden) partner, Royal Philips Electronics (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), said that the new treatment planning solution, SmartArc, has received FDA clearance and has been introduced on the market. SmartArc is a solution for volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatment planning. Available as a module in Philips' Pinnacle3 version 9 radiation treatment planning software, the new planning option can be used with any VMAT-capable delivery system on the market. VMAT is an advanced form of IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) in which the treatment machine rotates around the patient while the treatment beam is on. The basic promise of VMAT delivery is to significantly reduce treatment time per patient compared with traditional IMRT. VMAT can benefit the patient by offering shorter treatment times, increased accuracy and better sparing of healthy tissue.

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