BD Expands its Portfolio of Easy-to-Use Cell Sorters

BD continues to reinforce its commitment to making flow cytometry easier and more affordable with the introduction of its newest cell sorter, the BD FACSMelody system. Built for benchtop use, the new BD FACSMelody sorter is easy to learn, install and use and provides excellent sensitivity, resolution and sort purity. The simplicity of the BD FACSMelody follows in the footsteps of other newly launched BD flow cytometers such as the BD Accuri C6 Plus and BD FACSCelesta systems.

The BD FACSMelody cell sorter features high sensitivity to identify and isolate target cells for up to nine colors, extending the multicolor capability compared to similar cell sorters that is essential for identification of dim or rare subpopulations. The new BD FACSChorus software guides researchers throughout the entire cell sorting process using advanced automation technology. This cell sorting technology allows researchers to simultaneously isolate two cell populations into separate tubes or deposit single or multiple target cells into 96- or 384-well plates. The BD FACSMelody system enables researchers at multiple skill levels to achieve high-purity sorting.

“As a leader in cell analysis and sorting, BD’s goal is to advance scientific discovery by providing expedient, high-performance cell isolation and sorting tools to a wide spectrum of researchers,” said Claude Dartiguelongue, worldwide president of Biosciences for BD. “The BD FACSMelody system not only simplifies the entire operational process, but also has been designed to maximize cell population resolution and sort purity.”

The BD FACSMelody cell sorting system is offered in six different configurations to best meet application needs ranging from a molecular biology lab isolating transfected cells with a single-color reporter gene to an immunology lab sorting a rare lymphocyte subset with a nine-color reagent panel. The system includes a gel-coupled cuvette, which eliminates optical fluidic alignment, provides excellent sensitivity and resolution, and is uniquely designed to leverage the broad BD Horizon Brilliant™ reagent portfolio. The BD FACSChorus software precisely regulates the sorting of droplets and steering of sorted cells into collection devices.

FDA approves mobile connected ultrasound device for urology

Signostics announced that it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for Uscan, the first smart mobile-connected ultrasound visualization device targeted at urologic care.

Using algorithms from the science of computer vision, Uscan actively recognizes the 3D contours of the bladder, for far more accurate volume measurements than the industry standard* even on obese and other hard-to-scan patients. It acquires up to 256 bladder slices – 32 times more than conventional bladder scanners – resulting in industry-leading accuracy. It also provides real-time ultrasound imaging of the kidneys, pelvic floor, prostate, gallbladder, bladder stones, and catheter emplacement, for quick and easy visual tracking and observation.

“Uscan doesn’t just scan; it sees – providing intelligent urologic visualization by leveraging science from current-day computer vision algorithms aimed at more efficient and confident point-of-care clinical decision-making,” said Kevin Goodwin, CEO. “Uscan will exceed historical industry standards for bladder volume measurement accuracy yet will also enable use for other urologic imaging needs, reducing the delays and expense of engaging specialized ultrasound equipment or sonographers.”

Uscan also offers integrated middleware not found in any comparably priced systems; and can be used in a range of clinical settings beyond urology, including the emergency department, maternity, pediatrics, oncology, rehabilitation, aged care and home nursing. The system’s removable probe, high-resolution touch screen tablet and handheld displays make it ideally suited for on-the-go clinical care.

It is compatible with Android operating systems, and has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity that enables fast and reliable image management and interoperability with electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Uscan also offers the industry’s lowest cost of ownership in this market space, coming with a designed- in 5-year product warranty, with a “no fine print” pledge and requires no annual calibration. It is simple to learn and use, and provides real-time user guidance, eliminating the need for extensive training.

A press release can be found from Signostics website by clicking this link.

Flexible, wearable, tricorder-like EKG sensor

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first flexible wearable device capable of monitoring both biochemical and electric signals in the human body. The Chem-Phys patch records electrocardiogram (EKG) heart signals and tracks levels of lactate, a biochemical that is a marker of physical effort, in real time. The device can be worn on the chest and communicates wirelessly with a smartphone, smart watch or laptop. It could have a wide range of applications, from athletes monitoring their workouts to physicians monitoring patients with heart disease.

Nanoengineers and electrical engineers at the UC San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors worked together to build the device, which includes a flexible suite of sensors and a small electronic board. The device also can transmit the data from biochemical and electrical signals via Bluetooth.

Nanoengineering professor Joseph Wang and electrical engineering professor Patrick Mercier at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering led the project, with Wang’s team working on the patch’s sensors and chemistry, while Mercier’s team worked on the electronics and data transmission. They describe the Chem-Phys patch in the May 23 issue of Nature Communications.

“One of the overarching goals of our research is to build a wearable tricorder-like device that can measure simultaneously a whole suite of chemical, physical and electrophysiological signals continuously throughout the day,” Mercier said. “This research represents an important first step to show this may be possible.”

Most commercial wearables only measure one signal, such as steps or heart rate, Mercier said. Almost none of them measure chemical signals, such as lactate.

That is the gap that the sensor designed by researchers at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego aims to bridge. Combining information about heart rate and lactate–a first in the field of wearable sensors–could be especially useful for athletes wanting to improve their performance. Both Mercier and Wang have been fielding inquiries from Olympic athletes about the technologies the Center for Wearable Sensors produces.

“The ability to sense both EKG and lactate in a small wearable sensor could provide benefits in a variety of areas,” explained Dr. Kevin Patrick, a physician and director of the Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems at UC San Diego, who was not involved with the research. “There would certainly be interest in the sports medicine community about how this type of sensing could help optimize training regimens for elite athletes,” added Patrick, who is also a member of the Center for Wearable Sensors. “The ability to concurrently assess EKG and lactate could also open up some interesting possibilities in preventing and/or managing individuals with cardiovascular disease.”

The researchers’ biggest challenge was making sure that signals from the two sensors didn’t interfere with each other. This required some careful engineering and a fair bit of experimentation before finding the right configuration for the sensors.

A press relaease can be found by following this link.

Researchers build a better bionic hand

Researchers at Simon Fraser University are working with paralympic skier Danny Letain to design a new control system for one of the world’s most advanced bionic hands, promising a more intuitive experience for upper limb amputees.

Letain, a former locomotive engineer, lost his left arm below the elbow 35 years ago. He has since used a body-powered prosthesis with a pincer-like split hook that uses a series of straps to mechanically maneuver the artificial limb.

“The hook is durable and quick to respond, but controlling it with straps is not natural,” says Letain. Yet with the SFU team’s new control system, Letain already has a variety of different grip patterns that he says work “well beyond” what he could achieve with prosthetic devices.

Letain adds: “With this new system, it feels like I’m opening and closing my hand. The most exciting moment for me was feeling my left index finger and the little finger for the first time since my accident. With the hook you don’t use those muscles at all. This system puts my mind to work in a whole new way.”

The technology was developed in engineering science professor Carlo Menon’s biomedical engineering lab initially to rehabilitate stroke patients. He immediately saw the potential for wider applications, however, including for amputees.

Menon says there is a high rejection rate among those with existing robotic prostheses because they are not intuitive.

“The problem is in the control systems, which have not significantly advanced in 50 years,” he says. “As a result, the robotic prostheses are not very useful for performing everyday tasks, and only about a quarter of amputees use them.”

The SFU team, known as M.A.S.S. Impact (Muscle Activity Sensor Strip), is applying its technology to a robotic arm on loan from Steeper Prosthetics, a company in Leeds, England. The SFU team has been working with Letain and staff at Vancouver’s Barber Prosthetics since June 2015.

The new system consists of an armband of pressure sensors embedded in the prosthetic socket. These track movements in Letain’s remaining muscles as he performs intuitive actions, such as grasping a bottle. Computer algorithms then map the sensor data to decode his intentions and move the prosthesis.

Full story can be found from Simon Fraser University website.

Massachusetts General Hospital developed device for rapid diagnosis of bacterial infections

A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has developed a device with the potential of shortening the time required to rapidly diagnose pathogens responsible for health-care-associated infections from a couple of days to a matter of hours. The system described in the journal Science Advances also would allow point-of-care diagnosis, as it does not require the facilities and expertise available only in hospital laboratories.

“Health-care-associated infections are a major problem that affects more than 600,000 patients each year, more than 10 percent of whom will die, and incurs more $100 billion in related costs,” says Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD, director of the MGH Center for Systems Biology, Thrall Family Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and co-senior author of the report. “Rapid and efficient diagnosis of the pathogen is a critical first step in choosing the appropriate antibiotic regimen, and this system could provide that information in a physician’s office in less than two hours.”

While considered the gold standard for diagnosing bacterial infections, traditional culture-based diagnosis can take several days and requires specialized equipment, trained laboratory personnel and procedures that vary depending on the particular pathogen. Emerging genetic approaches that identify bacterial species by their nucleic acid sequences are powerful but still require complex equipment and workflows, restricting such testing to specialized hospital laboratories.

The system developed by the MGH team, dubbed PAD for Polarization Anisotropy Diagnostics, allows for accurate genetic testing in a simple device. Bacterial RNA is extracted from a sample in a small, disposable plastic cartridge. Following polymerase chain reaction amplification of the RNA, the material is loaded into a 2-cm plastic cube containing optical components that detect target RNAs based on the response to a light signal of sequence-specific detection probes. These optical cubes are placed on an electronic base station that transmits data to a smartphone or computer where the results can be displayed.

More details can be found from MGH website by clicking here.

FDA Approves MR Conditional Tachycardia Devices from Biotronik

Biotronik announced Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Iperia ProMRI HF-T, a cardiac resynchronization defibrillator that provides heart failure patients with access to diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Iperia devices also have remote monitoring with daily automatic transmission and closed loop stimulation (CLS) that adapts the heart rate in response to physiological demands.

Iperia HF-T was developed with BIOTRONIK’s ProMRI, Home Monitoring, and CLS technology, creating an advanced cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) designed to support each patient’s unique healthcare journey. BIOTRONIK’s MR conditional tachycardia devices ensure patients have access to 1.5T scans without an exclusion zone. Home Monitoring provides automatic daily transmission of data relating to arrhythmic events and heart failure statistics, which have been shown to reduce all-cause mortality by more than 50 percent. For heart failure patients, early detection of deterioration reduces patient mortality.

“The FDA approval of Iperia HF-T demonstrates the shift that is happening in cardiovascular patient care,” said Marlou Janssen, President, BIOTRONIK, Inc. “BIOTRONIK now offers a comprehensive portfolio of MR conditional ICDs. We’re driving the standard of care to new levels by providing physicians and hospitals with innovative, reliable, cardiac devices that ensure patients have access to imaging technology critical to diagnosing and treating future illness and injury. This is technology that is making a difference in patients’ lives.”

A press release can be found by following this link.