• Opnext (San Jose, California), a developer of high-performance optical components, reported the general availability of its low-operating current red laser diodes. The laser diodes are suitable for use in medical applications. Opnext is showcasing the new diodes this week at Photonics West in San Jose, California. The company said the red laser diodes offer the industry's lowest operating current in 635nm wavelength band, resulting in extended battery time and lower power consumption. The new diodes provide a decrease in operating current by 50% compared to Opnext's original product, and an aspect ratio improvement from 3.8 to 3.1. The product is available in a standard-size, 5.6 nm package, suitable for small-size applications.

• Procter & Gamble (Cincinnati) sponsored a study at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center that shows that its ThermaCare Heatwraps are safe and effective for treating catheter thrombophlebitis, a painful and potentially dangerous vein inflammation that may occur after intravenous catheter placement in children. The results were presented this month at the annual meeting of the Society of Critical Care Medicine in San Francisco. Children in the study were treated with ThermaCare Heatwraps, which provide continuous, low-level heat over an eight-hour period, for eight hours each day from one to three days. Complete and rapid resolution of symptoms occurred in 90% of patients with no complications, the study authors reported.

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