• Life Spine (Hoffman Estates, Illinois) said that the FDA has given 510(k) marketing clearance to Neo-SL, a new static anterior cervical plating system with an integrated lock that allows bone screws to be securely fixated without any additional locking components. The self-retaining screw capture mechanism prevents screw rotation and backout, while still allowing screw angulation. The Neo-SL features a 2mm profile, 16mm plate width, a large graft window, similar to the original Neo plate, providing increased intra-operative and post-operative views of the graft site. Life Spine makes spinal replacement products.

• Memry (Bethel, Connecticut) reported the launch of its V2 nitinol tubing. The tube is the smallest diameter tube Memry manufactures, developed specifically for tubing sizes below .020-inch ID. It combines the superelastic properties of nitinol with diameter sizes that facilitate further upstream anatomy procedural capabilities. Memry provides services to the medical device and other industries using the company’s shape memory alloy and polymer extrusion technologies.

The Oregon Clinic (Portland) reported that Lee Swanstrom, MD, has recently performed the first transgastric endoscopic cholecystectomy in the U.S. The procedure involves removing the gall bladder without making traditional incisions on the surface of the skin, which is expected to result in less pain, lower risk of infection and a reduced recovery time as compared to traditional surgery. Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES), as this procedure has become known, involves passing flexible surgical tools and a camera through the patient’s mouth to reach the abdominal cavity by an incision made in the stomach. Once the operation is over, the surgeon draws any removed tissue back through the patient’s mouth and closes the hole in the stomach. Swanstrom’s team used a new surgical platform — the EndoSurgical Operating System — made by USGI Medical (San Clemente, California)to facilitate these procedures. The Oregon Clinic is one of the largest private specialty physician practices in Oregon.

• VeriChip (Delray Beach, Florida) reported its wholly owned subsidiary, Xmark , launched the By Your Side program for its infant protection products. The By Your Side program provides Xmark’s infant protection customers a level of support to ensure success with their Halo or Hugs infant protection system, the company said. The program has five main components: implementation support, clinical education, parent education, public relations and continuing clinical support. VeriChip and Xmark make RFID systems for healthcare and patient-related needs.