• EP MedSystems (West Berlin, New Jersey), a developer of electrophysiology products used in cardiac rhythm management, reported that its ViewFlex ultrasound imaging catheter was used in a unique procedure to treat a patient in dysynchrony with heart failure. The procedure was performed by Sanjeev Saksena, MD, the company's senior medical advisor and a practicing cardiac electrophysiology and clinical professor of medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine (New Brunswick, New Jersey). The procedure was performed to resynchronize the left ventricle in a patient who previously had an implanted cardiac resynchronization pacemaker device, which had failed to improve heart function. EP MedSystems' ViewMate system provided visualization used in both optimizing the positioning of the pacemaker electrode and the programming of the device, allowing resynchronization as well as increased cardiac output. The patient's ejection fraction improved from 21% to 39%. ViewMate is a computerized instrument for the capture of intracardiac ultrasound images providing digital image acquisition and display of images from the ViewFlex intracardiac catheter inserted into the heart through intravascular access.

• Gen-Probe (San Diego) said it has submitted to the FDA a 510(k) application for use of the fully automated, high-throughput Procleix Tigris system to screen donated human blood, tissue and organs for West Nile virus (WNV) with the Procleix WNV assay. The Procleix WNV assay was approved by the FDA in early December for use on the enhanced semi-automated Procleix system (eSAS). WNV is a mosquito-borne virus associated with a human form of the disease ranging from mild, flu-like symptoms to severe neurological disease. The Tigris system is approved in many countries outside the U.S. to screen donated human blood, tissue and organs with the Procleix Ultrio assay.

• Smith & Nephew Endoscopy (Andover, Massachusetts) reported the launch of its Hip Positioning System designed to enable a surgeon to access and treat the hip joint using arthroscopic techniques. Most surgeons who perform hip arthroscopy must use fracture tables, the type used during open surgery to repair broken hips or replace worn out joints, cumbersome to assemble and costly to buy and maintain, according to S&N. The company said that its Hip Positioning System, which attaches to most standard operating room tables, is designed to gently and slightly separate the joint, creating space for the surgeon to work.

• Varian (Palo Alto, California) said it has extended its offerings for bio-solids applications research by introducing the BioStatic nuclear magnetic resonance probe designed to determine the molecular structures of proteins and other biomolecules in a solid state. The BioStatic probe incorporates ultra-low E-field coil technology to reduce unwanted heating by up to 94% compared to a standard solenoid coil design probe, and enables experiments to be run up to five times faster than competitive offerings, the company said. Separately, Varian reported the release of its new range of ICP-OES (Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometer) instruments, the 700-ES series. Core to both the 720-ES and 730-ES series is a patented CCD detector that delivers the ICP-OES platform with superior speed and performance, the company said.