• Omni-Tract Surgical (St. Paul, Minnesota) reported the worldwide launch of the Omni-Flex Retractor System. The Omni-Flex is the newest generation of table-mounted surgical retractor systems providing optimal exposure in a variety of surgical procedures. The system offers added strength for larger patients and gives surgeons the flexibility needed for both minimally invasive and standard procedures. The company will introduce the Omni-Flex System at this week's conference of the Association of peri-Operative Registered Nurses in Washington. The system will be introduced internationally at the European Association of Urology in Paris in April.

• TransMedics (Andover, Massachusetts), which is developing organ transplant technologies, reported the initiation of the European PROTECT (PROspective multi-center European Trial to Evaluate the safety and performance of the Organ Care System for Heart Transplants) clinical trial for its Organ Care System, the first system that allows a new type of organ transplant, called a living organ transplant. The primary endpoint is the seven-day patient survival rate following transplant. All patients will be followed for 30 days for further data. Long-term patient survival and other outcome measures will be tracked through established registries. TransMedics' Organ Care System maintains organs in a functioning state outside the human body, allowing real time clinical evaluation. Warm, oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood is perfused through the organ from the time of removal until it is implanted. Maintaining the heart in a warm, functioning state until implantation may allow the organ to withstand longer periods of time outside of the body and be less vulnerable to damage during transportation to the recipient, the company said.

• VisualSonics (Toronto), a developer of high-resolution, ultrasound-based micro-imaging systems, reported at last week's American College of Cardiology (Bethesda, Maryland) conference in Atlanta new cardiovascular functionalities for its Vevo 770 system. The Vevo's new Tissue Doppler Imaging feature allows quantitative myocardial analysis to be performed and used for regional myocardial strain rate. The new integrated blood pressure analysis functionality allows the Vevo 770 system to integrate a blood pressure signal from a third-party continuous pressure monitoring system. Other new features include the automated left ventricular functional analysis, which provides semi-automated continuous tracing of the chamber walls in the left ventricle in either B- or M-Mode. In addition, the Vevo software automatically generates standard left ventricular measurements and calculations derived from the traced contours and collected physiological data.

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