Misonix (Farmingdale, New York), a maker of minimally invasive ultrasonic medical device technology, which, in Europe is used for the ablation of cancer and worldwide for other acute health conditions, reported the formation of a new sales channel for the U.S. The company expects to assemble a team of about 25 contract sales agents that will sell Misonix labeled product, on a commission only basis, directly to hospitals and clinics throughout the U.S.

The SonicOne wound management system will be the first product sold by this new sales team. SonicOne is a tissue specific wound cleansing and debridement system, effective for the removal of devitalized or necrotic tissue and fibrin deposits, which ensures progress toward patient healing.

Schepens identifies brain stem molecules

Scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute (Boston) have identified specific molecules in the brain that are responsible for awakening and putting to sleep brain stem cells, which, when activated, can transform into neurons (nerve cells) and repair damaged brain tissue. Their findings are published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

An earlier paper (published in the May issue of Stem Cells by the same scientists laid the foundation for the PNAS study findings by demonstrating that neural stem cells exist in every part of the brain, but are mostly kept silent by chemical signals from support cells known as astrocytes.

"The findings from both papers should have a far-reaching impact," says principal investigator, Dong Feng Chen, MD, who is an associate scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute and an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. Chen believes that tapping the brain's dormant, but intrinsic, ability to regenerate itself is the best hope for people suffering from brain-ravaging diseases such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease or traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries.

The next step for the team will be to stimulate the sleeping stem cells in animals who are models of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, to see if the brains can repair themselves and restore their damaged functions.

Carl Marks & Co. (New York) reported the addition of Carl Marks Healthcare Partners (CMHP) to the firm's business units. CMHP will focus on operational and financial performance improvement and turnaround management for the healthcare industry.

"Carl Marks Healthcare Partners adds another dimension to the specialized services that we provide to our clients," said Mark Claster, president of Carl Marks & Co. "CMHP's focus on strengthening organizational performance further enhances the established revitalization services our firm offers through Carl Marks Advisory Group and broadens our approach to creating value for our clients."

Carl Marks is an investment and advisory services firm.

Force Protection opens brain trauma center

Force Protection (Charleston, South Carolina) and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC; also Charleston) reported the opening of the Force Protection Center for Brain Research at MUSC.

The Center will conduct vital research designed to improving the quality of life for members of the armed forces and civilians who have suffered brain trauma, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

"Force Protection's partnership with MUSC is an important extension of our company's mission," said Force Protection president/CEO Michael Moody. "The work of this Center will have a real and lasting impact on those who sacrifice so much to preserve our freedoms. We are bringing the great people, resources and skills of MUSC and Force Protection together. We aim to innovate and develop additional survivability solutions that will provide our men and women in uniform with the best possible protection."