• Biolog (Hayward, California) reported the expansion of its Phenotype MicroArray (PM) product line to enable nearly 1,500 simultaneous phenotypic assays of human and other mammalian cells. PM technology is an assay platform that allows phenotyping to be performed in a simple, rapid, cost-effective and comprehensive manner, the company said. Phenotypes are the biological properties of a cell that result from its genetic and epi-genetic blueprints. Tools for sequencing and manipulating cellular genetics are well advanced. More and better tools are needed to understand how genetic changes alter cellular phenotypes. The first PM assays for mammalian cells measure the in vivo activity of about 400 potential energy-producing pathways of cells. This is fundamental, Biolog said, to studies of metabolic disorders such as diabetes, obesity and nutrition research where energy metabolism may be regulated improperly. Cancer and aging also have strong aspects of altered cellular energy metabolism.
  • MDS Analytical Technologies (Sunnyvale, California) reported the launch of what it called a "significant advance" in high-speed imaging technologies from its Molecular Devices business with the release of the MetaMorph ICS (integrated confocal system), in partnership with VisiTech International, a manufacturer of confocal hardware. MDS said this turnkey, confocal microscope is the first of its kind in the imaging industry. It has the capability to obtain high-resolution images in multiple dimensions to support researchers in their exploration of live cell and functional imaging without the limitations inherent in other high-speed imaging technologies. The microscope combines the Molecular Devices' MetaMorph software with the VT-Infinity 2D-array laser confocal scanner from VisiTech International. The company said this combination is designed to meet the growing demand for imaging rapid changes within cells and then analyzing these changes in multiple dimensions. MDS makes diagnostics and other life science products.
  • Medical Acoustics (Buffalo, New York) reported the initial commercial shipments of its pulmonary device, the Lung Flute. The Lung Flute is a small, flute-shaped plastic device that can assist in the harvesting of sputum for diagnostic purposes. It generates a specific low frequency sound when the user blows into it and the resulting sound waves vibrate the airways and lung secretions, causing the deep lung secretions to thin and be expelled. The Lung Flute enables pharmaceutical developers to monitor inflammatory biomarkers during an asthma attack or at various stages of obstructive or restrictive pulmonary events. Medical Acoustics is a developer of acoustic technologies for diagnostic and therapeutic medical applications.
  • OBS Medical (Indianapolis) reported clearance to market its next-generation patient deterioration early warning system (Visensia) in the U.S. Formerly known as BioSign, the Visensia technology evaluates up to five vital signs: heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, oxygen saturation and blood pressure and fuses this data into a single measurable index, the Visensia index. The company said the Visensia can allow hospital clinical staff to evaluate patient deterioration from central locations (department central station or hospital-wide patient safety response center). In addition, the new system will be able to integrate vital signs from periodic monitoring environments (such as medical/surgical floors and telemetry floors) to create the first hospital-wide patient deterioration early warning system.
  • Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics (SMS Diagnostics; Tarrytown, New York) reported the launch of the DCA vantage analyzer, a point-of-care diabetes patient management platform providing glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), microalbumin/creatinine and albumin-to-creatinine tests for diabetes management. The company said the DCA vantage analyzer "is critical for monitoring a patient's glycemic control and helps physicians to encourage patient compliance by delivering actionable test results during a patient visit." The system delivers the simplicity and convenience required at the point of care with no sample or reagent preparation steps. The product is pending FDA clearance and is not yet available for in vitro diagnostic use in the U.S. SMS Diagnostics specializes in diagnostic solutions that assist in the diagnosis, monitoring and management of disease.

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