• Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, Illinois) reported the launch of the Voyager NC Coronary Dilatation Catheter, a balloon dilatation catheter with high-pressure capability designed to optimize the treatment of patients with coronary artery disease during angioplasty procedures. The catheter can be used for both pre-dilatation and post-dilatation procedures. Physicians can use Voyager NC to navigate tortuous anatomy and open up lesions before a stent is delivered, or expand a stent more precisely against the vessel wall after it is implanted. It is available in a wide variety of diameters (from 2 mm to 5 mm) and lengths (from 6 mm to 25 mm) on a rapid exchange delivery system.

• Cardium Therapeutics (San Diego) and its operating unit, InnerCool Therapies, reported that positive clinical findings demonstrating faster recovery of urinary continence using localized manual cooling techniques during robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy surgery will be published in the April issue of Urology. The study used the UroCool system to further evaluate the potential safety and benefits of localized cooling during robotic-assisted prostatectomy, which is now the most common surgical technique for prostate cancer. The UroCool catheter is designed to be placed within the rectal cavity adjacent to the prostate during surgery and is used in conjunction with InnerCool's Celsius Control System, which circulates cold saline in a closed loop within the catheter to allow for localized cooling.

• MDS Nordion (Ottawa, Ontario) reported the launch of an improved administration system for TheraSphere, Yttrium-90 Microsphere (Y-90), a targeted internal radiation therapy for patients with inoperable, primary liver cancer. The enhancements to the administration system allow for safer, faster, and more efficient administration of TheraSphere, providing better treatment delivery for patients. TheraSphere is a low toxicity, liver cancer therapy which consists of millions of micro-glass beads containing radioactive yttrium-90. The product is injected by physicians into the main artery of the patient's liver through a catheter which allows the treatment to be delivered directly to the tumour via blood vessels. Unlike chemotherapy, it has fewer side effects, the company said, adding that patients rarely experience the nausea and vomiting usually associated with high-dose, systemic chemotherapies.

• Terumo Heart (Ann Arbor, Michigan) said that New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center recently became the second U.S. center, and first in the Northeast, to implant the DuraHeart Left-Ventricular Assist System (LVAS) as part of the DuraHeart Bridge-To-Transplant U.S. pivotal trial. The trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the device in helping to sustain patients awaiting heart transplant who are at risk of death due to end-state left ventricular failure. The DuraHeart System features a small pump that is implanted in a pocket created in the abdomen. When the pump is activated, the impeller position is precisely controlled by the electromagnets and sensors to keep it centered within the blood chamber. Permanent magnets couple the impeller to the motor so when the motor spins, it causes the impeller to rotate and pump blood from the heart to the body. In its weakened state, the heart is not strong enough to supply sufficient blood for normal activities. The DuraHeart supplements the natural flow by pumping blood from the left ventricle to the aorta, increasing total flow to normal levels.

• Transoma Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) said that the first U.S. patient has received the company's new Sleuth AT (Advanced Trending) Implantable Cardiac Monitoring System. Transoma says the Sleuth AT allows physicians to program the capture of high-quality ECG (electrocardiogram) strips at frequent intervals, providing a new level of insight into complex arrhythmias which are often asymptomatic and frequently changing. These captured ECG strips are automatically transferred to a 24/7 monitoring center, staffed by Certified Cardiac Technicians, who classify and notify physicians of the presence of a wide variety of cardiac arrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia, bradycardia, supraventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation.

• U.S. Spine (Boca Raton, Florida) reported that spine surgeons at Middlesex Hospital (Middlesex, Connecticut) have performed a minimally invasive, posterior spinal fixation procedure on a 70-year-old patient using the Lock-Tight Facet System, a new technology that enables surgeons to fixate the facet joint without needing to perform an open procedure. Lock-Tight features a cannulated, partially-threaded, titanium screw, which is inserted through a unique locking washer which, when fully seated against the underside of the screw head, prevents the screw from rotating out of the bone. This feature is unique to the system, and eliminates rotational loosening of the implants post-operatively.

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