Nanogen (San Diego) said that it has been issued European patent No. 0943158B1, "Affinity-based self-assembly systems and devices for photonic and electronic applications," by the European Patent Office. The new nanotechnology patent relates to a nanofabrication technology that combines an electric field-assisted manufacturing platform and programmable self-assembling nanostructures for the fabrication of a range of higher-order nano and microscale devices, structures and materials. The European patent is jointly owned by Nanotronics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nanogen, and the Regents of the University of California. Nanogen has exclusively licensed the interests of the University of California where there is joint inventorship.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, Pennsylvania), in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH; Boston), said it has developed a prototype area-detector based, volume computed tomography (CT) system. The system was developed on a Siemens Somatom Sensation CT gantry and uses 2-D digital flat-panel detector technology. Principles and potential applications of volumetric CT scanning are being evaluated at MGH with this prototype system. The new area-detector prototype CT system features volume coverage of 18 cm with up to 768 CT slices per rotation. When fully developed, this innovation has the promise of offering a unique window on human anatomy and physiology, the company said. Increased volume coverage is possible with the introduction of area detectors large enough to cover entire organs in a single rotation. The volume CT prototype system is designed to be suitable for in vitro imaging of specimens, as well as in vivo imaging of large animals and eventually human research.

Toshiba America Medical Systems (Tustin, California) said it demonstrated its 64-slice cardiac CT performance of the Aquilion 64 CFX at the Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS; Houma, Louisiana). CIS is one of the largest heart centers for nonsurgical and surgical treatment of both heart and vascular disease in the U.S. "Clearly, the Aquilion 64 CFX image quality and breath-hold of five to 10 seconds has its advantages," said Peter Fail, MD, director of the cardiac catheterization laboratories and interventional research at CIS. "It has resulted in virtually all studies being of diagnostic quality. Prior to the Aquilion 64 CFX, only about 50% of past cardiovascular CT studies had the temporal resolution required to make a diagnosis." He added: "Ultimately, the thinner slices and outstanding low-contrast resolution of the Aquilion 64 CFX will improve the sensitivity of plaque characterization algorithms."