• Dermisonics (West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania), a developer of ultrasonic transdermal drug-delivery technologies, said that it has completed the first working model of its A-Wand antiseptic delivery system and is in talks with the Army Institute of Surgical Research to develop a battlefield version under the Combat Casualty Care Research Program. The A-Wand is a hand-held, portable, ultrasonic device for applying antiseptic solutions to cuts, abrasions and wounds with a replaceable Patch-Cap, which holds up to 40 ml of antiseptic solution. It uses alternating ultrasonic waveforms to enlarge the diameter of the skin pores enabling antiseptics to permeate through the skin into the dermis through the sweat pores.

• Given Imaging (Yokneam, Israel) reported that two independent studies concluded that PillCam ESO is an accurate, non-invasive alternative to upper endoscopy, the current “gold standard“ for evaluating patients and the most commonly performed procedure in detecting esophageal varices in cirrhotic patients. Both prospective studies were published in the January issue of Endoscopy. The first study of 32 cirrhotic patients assessed PillCam ESO's ability to detect esophageal varices when compared to upper endoscopy in cirrhotic patients and evaluated patients' tolerance and preference for each technique. It was concluded that PillCam ESO detected varices in 23 patients and signs of portal hypertension in 19 patients, matching the upper endoscopy findings. The patients studied also felt that PillCam ESO was more convenient and less uncomfortable than the standard endoscopy examination. A second study assessed 21 cirrhotic patients to determine the accuracy of PillCam ESO and how well patients tolerate the procedure compared to upper endoscopy for portal hypertension screening. The researchers concluded that there was complete diagnostic agreement on the presence or absence of esophageal varices in 85% patients. The study showed that the sensitivity of PillCam ESO for all large varices that require treatment was 100%. The study also reported that all 20 patients who swallowed the capsule preferred PillCam ESO.

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