• AngioDynamics (Queensbury, New York) has received 510(k) clearance for Oncobionic to market irreversible electroporation (IRE) — a technology indicated for surgical ablation of soft tissue, including cardiac and smooth muscle. As previously reported, AngioDynamics will acquire Oncobionic upon successful human use of its IRE technology, for which testing is expected to commence in mid-2007. IRE uses needles and image guidance similar to existing thermal ablation technologies, but instead of “cooking” or “freezing” the targeted tissue, IRE disrupts the cell membrane, thereby destroying the targeted cells. In IRE, needle electrodes are placed through the skin by image guidance in the center or at the edge of the targeted tissue. A certain electrical field is then generated within the electrode array, causing permanent nanoscale defects (pores) in the cell membranes. The impaired cells are left in the body to be removed by the body’s natural immune system. AngioDynamics develops and manufactures devices that treat peripheral vascular diseases and other non-coronary diseases.

• Fluidigm (South San Francisco) said it has launched a new platform for gene expression analysis that runs TaqMan assays on nanofluidic chips, known as BioMark dynamic arrays. The BioMark system delivers higher throughput than 384-microwell plate systems, and at reduced running costs. Fluidigm develops and distributes systems based on the properties of integrated fluidic circuits (IFCs) to control fluids on a nanovolume scale.

• LDR (Austin, Texas) has received FDA 510(k) clearance for its LP Multiaxial Screw used to perform a spondylolisthesis reduction in two stages with minimal instrumentation. During boney reduction, the LP is driven into the bone, pulling the vertebra toward the rod. The LP Screw contains one multiaxial and one polyaxial connection: the head-to-rod connection and the head-to-shaft connection. Both connection points lock independently for maximum adjustability. LDR develops devices for the surgical treatment of spinal conditions.

• Objet Geometries (Rehovot, Israel) reported a new solution for fast production of hearing aids. The solution is based on Objet’s PolyJet technology, which builds ear molds by printing ultra-thin 16-micron layers to create the exact 3-D structure required. The solution is offered with three photopolymer resins designed for the unique needs of hearing aids: FullCure 640 (clear), 660 (rose color) and 680 (skin tone). Objet Geometries develops and manufactures photopolymer jetting.

• VirtualScopics (Rochester, New York), developer of image-based biomarker solutions, has been issued a patent titled “Method and System for Automatic Identification and Quantification of Abnormal Anatomical Structures in Medical Images“ (U.S. Patent Number 7,103,224). The patent allows VirtualScopics to use both statistical and expert knowledge to measure a wide variety of abnormalities, from multiple sclerosis lesions to bone marrow edema. This enables VirtualScopics' customers to use smaller patient populations in their trials, enabling them to realize lower costs and accelerated time to market.

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