Medical Device Daily Correspondent And MDDs

ZICHRON YAAKOV, Israel – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation is becoming a neural map of active interactions with its signing of an agreement with the European Union to train some 100 researchers.

This follows the EU's designation of the Hebrew University center as a center of excellence, doing research "of major importance to human health," noting that "the combination of facilities, equipment and expertise at one site appears to be genuinely rare in Europe."

The EU termed the Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation as "highly regarded by leading brain scientists throughout the European Union."

Center director Idan Segev expressed gratitude and pride about this important distinction, saying, "Seventeen countries have already expressed an interest in sending scientists to our center. We will be pleased to host them and share research information."

The center was noted for its unique combination of medical devices with molecular techniques, and the EU remarked on the variety of imaging and other tools that "create a unique possibility for research in the field."

This hybrid vigor has paid off in significant contributions; for example, in 2001-2002, the center's scientists published 29 articles in leading scientific publications, including 13 in Nature and four in Science.

In other Hebrew University news, Wangxia Wang and Dan Pelah of the faculty of agriculture/food, who are with Fulcrum SP (Herzliya Pituach, Israel) – a start-up that Altman and Shoseyov founded – have created SP-1 nanocapsules shown in animal studies to deliver anti-cancer drugs to a variety of solid tumors without harming the surrounding healthy tissue. The selective penetration is mechanical: the blood vessels that feed tumors are considerably more porous than those in healthy tissues.

The bagel-shaped SP-1 protein was isolated from the ordinary poplar tree but has extraordinary abilities. The nanometric capsule forms by self-assembly of 12 identical units, which seems to make it extremely stable, unusually resistant to extreme conditions such as enzymes that usually denature bio-carriers, as well as immune to physical abuse such as boiling, excessive acidity or detergent solutions.

BSP reports HyperQ FDA-cleared

BSP Biological Signal Processing (Tel Aviv) reported receiving FDA approval for the marketing and sale of its HyperQ System.

BSP, a pioneer in the field of high-frequency ECG (HF ECG), has developed an ECG technology that it describes as having "breakthrough diagnostic value" for detecting and monitoring ischemic heart diseases (IHD) – the leading cause of death in the developed world.

BSP's HyperQ System is a PC-based stress ECG device that records, analyzes and displays both conventional stress ECG and HF ECG for detection of myocardial ischemia.

BSP says the system uses proprietary signal acquisition and signal processing technology with a "user-friendly interface," numerical readout of the results, and self-explanatory graphs to demonstrate changes in the high frequency components of the QRS complex.

BSP reported recently concluding a large-scale, 1,000-patient study, the results currently being developed for publication.

"Studies in animals and humans demonstrated a distinct pattern of decrease in the High Frequency QRS components during acute myocardial ischemia," said Dr. Irit Yaniv, vice president of clinical and business development for BSP. "Moreover, reperfusion yielded the opposite pattern, suggesting that the HyperQ technology offers a great potential in detecting ischemic conditions and reperfusion success with unmatched accuracy."

Dr. Amir Beker, BSP's CEO and founder, said, "BSP's first FDA approval is an exciting and essential milestone in the road to global recognition of our technology. Together with the already received European ISO and CE certificates, it enables the introduction of our products to the U.S. and European markets."

BSP said that it is also developing products that include rest and monitoring systems, telemedicine devices and application for implantable cardiac devices.

Founded in 2000, BSP describes its team as consisting of "top signal processing experts, biomedical engineers and clinicians."