A new diagnostic marker, called urine NGAL, for early detection of acute kidney injury (AKI) in hospitalized patients can distinguish AKI from other forms of kidney dysfunction and save lives by preventing kidney failure, according to research presented at a scientific workshop hosted by Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, Illinois) at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry annual meeting. AKI is a common and potentially devastating illness in hospitalized patients. Onset is rapid and can result from trauma, sepsis or administration of medications toxic to the kidneys. AKI can also present following cardiothoracic surgery or as a complication of diabetes and other chronic conditions. AKI quickly reduces the ability of the kidneys to filter waste and leads to renal failure. The study focused on a new diagnostic biomarker for acute AKI, called urine NGAL (neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin). The protein is produced by the kidney tubules and appears in urine just two to four hours following AKI, up to 46 hours sooner than biomarkers detected by current testing methods. Abbott's diagnostic division specializes in in vitro diagnostics and offers a range of innovative instrument systems and tests for hospitals, reference labs, molecular labs, blood banks, physician offices and clinics.

Atherotech (Birmingham, Alabama) said that its VAP cholesterol test is now included in Biophysical Corporation's newly released health assessment, BiophysicalCheck. This means that the VAP test, with its ability to identify far more areas of risk than the standard lipid panel, will now be available in Biophysical's biomarker-based health assessment. The BiophysicalCheck is based on the technology used in the company's test, the Biophysical250. This test has been called "The Ultimate Blood Test" by Scientific American and has been featured on highly-rated U.S. syndicated talk shows. The VAP test directly measures LDL and has been shown to identify a far greater number of patients with lipid abnormalities than the standard lipid panel (cholesterol and triglyceride test). The test also reports 15 separate components versus four in the standard cholesterol test. Artherotech is a cardio-diagnostic company.

Cepheid (Sunnyvale, California) has introduced its GeneXpert Infinity-48 high-throughput system, as an addition to its GeneXpert family of molecular diagnostic testing systems. Cepheid says the GeneXpert system is a self-contained, integrated system that automates molecular analysis with minimal risk of contamination. The GeneXpert combines on-board sample preparation with real-time polymerase chain reaction amplification and detection functions for nucleic acid analysis. Cepheid is a molecular diagnostics company that makes systems for genetic analysis in the clinical, industrial and biothreat markets.

Dormio Tech (Chatsworth, California), a division of CHAD Therapeutics, said that it received FDA clearance to market the company's FloChannel diagnostic system, Dormio's first product for the large and rapidly growing sleep disorder market. Dormio Tech's FloChannel is a diagnostic device that independently monitors left and right nasal airflow. This allows the system to detect and measure nasal cycling (the periodic alternation in nasal airflow resistance between the two nasal cavities), as well as oral airflow and snoring, and provides constant baseline airflow volumetric sleep scoring. The patented device connects easily to standard sleep lab systems. CHAD Therapeutics makes products for the sleep disorder market.

ImaCor (Uniondale, New York) reported receiving FDA clearance for its ClariTEE probe and Zura imaging system. The ClariTEE probe is a miniaturized transesophageal echocardiography probe which facilitates episodic monitoring of cardiac function. The ClariTEE is a single-use device that can remain indwelling for up to 72 hours, allowing intensivists and anesthesiologists to periodically assess cardiac preload and left ventricular systolic function over a prolonged period of time. ImaCor makes solutions for monitoring cardiac function in the critical care environment.

Nonin Medical (Minneapolis) has entered the clinical testing phase with its technology to measure regional oxygen saturation. The most common application for this technology is the continuous monitoring of the regional blood oxygenation in the brain — cerebral oximetry. The advanced modular design of this new technology permits future expansion of functionality, while also permitting product and data integration into other monitoring systems. Noninspecializes in the development of physiological monitoring products.

Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, Massachusetts) showcased a range of solutions for clinical applications at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry's 2008 Annual Meeting. Among the technologies, products and capabilities featured to support Clinical Laboratory Excellence, were: MGC 240 Analyzer (compact bench-top analyzer offers a broad range of immunoassays with multiple channels of up to 24 two-reagent tests); PRIME Clinical Chemistry Analyzers (PRIME random access clinical chemistry analyzer); Quantitative Microsphere System (drugs-of-abuse screening and therapeutic drug management); NanoDrop 1000 Spectrophotometer (capable of carrying out full UV-Vis absorbance measurements with only 1 ul of undiluted sample); Fluoro-Max Fluorescent Streptavidin-Coated Particles (streptavidin fluorescent particles are monodisperse particles prepared by unique and proprietary emulsion polymerization methods). Thermo Fisher Scientific offers products in two brands, Thermo Scientific and Fisher Scientific.

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