Edwards INSPIRIS RESILIA Valve Receives CE Mark

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Edwards Lifesciences Corporation announced it received CE Mark for its INSPIRIS RESILIA aortic valve, the first in a new class of resilient heart valves. Incorporating the advanced RESILIA tissue, the INSPIRIS valve leverages features of the trusted PERIMOUNT Magna Ease valve and includes the proprietary VFit technology, which is designed for potential future valve-in-valve procedures.

A key innovation of the INSPIRIS valve is RESILIA tissue, a new, first-of-its-kind tissue platform that has been in development for more than a decade and builds on Edwards’ 40 years of leadership in tissue technology. RESILIA tissue utilizes Edwards’ integrity preservation technology, which preserves the tissue and provides improved anti-calcification properties and sustained hemodynamic performance. In addition, the valve is stored dry and ready to use.

A press release is available from Edwards website.

Researchers Report Invention of Glucose-Sensing Contact Lens

Blood testing is the standard option for checking glucose levels, but a new technology could allow non-invasive testing via a contact lens that samples glucose levels in tears.

But glucose is a good target for optical sensing, and especially for what is known as surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy, said Shih, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering whose lab, the NanoBioPhotonics Group, works on optical biosensing enabled by nanoplasmonics.

This is an alternative approach, in contrast to a Raman spectroscopy-based noninvasive glucose sensor Shih developed as a Ph.D. student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds two patents for technologies related to directly probing skin tissue using laser light to extract information about glucose concentrations.

Full story is available from University of Houston website.

Abbott Diabetes Sensing Technology FDA Approved

Abbott announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the company’s FreeStyle Libre Pro system, a revolutionary continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system for healthcare professionals to use with their patients with diabetes.

FreeStyle Libre Pro system is designed to empower healthcare professionals to provide better diabetes management for diabetes patients. The system provides healthcare professionals with a visual snapshot of glucose data, known as the Ambulatory Glucose Profile (AGP), giving a more simplified and clear overview of not only glucose levels, but also patterns and trends within those levels. This valuable information helps healthcare professionals make better, customized treatment decisions for their patients – and for a significantly lower cost than other professional CGM products availablei.

On nearly a daily basis, Eugene E. Wright, Jr., M.D. of Duke Southern Regional Area Health Education Center in Fayetteville, N.C., finds it challenging to effectively treat his patients with diabetes when it comes to decisions around insulin, nutrition and medication. “My patients are often out of range, due to inconsistent self-monitoring and insufficient data from traditional glucose meters that are unable to provide a full view of their glucose levels.”

A press release is availble from Abbott website.

Boston Scientific to Acquire EndoChoice

Boston Scientific and EndoChoice Holdings, Inc. announced the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Boston Scientific has agreed to acquire EndoChoice. Upon completion of the transaction, EndoChoice will become part of the Boston Scientific endoscopy business.

EndoChoice develops and commercializes innovative products and services for specialists treating a wide range of gastrointestinal (GI) conditions. The EndoChoice portfolio includes single-use devices, such as resection and retrieval devices, needles, graspers and infection control kits. The company also has strong positions in pathology services and imaging technologies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Boston Scientific will launch a tender offer for all EndoChoice outstanding shares at a cash price of $8.00 per share. Following the tender offer, if successful, all remaining shares of EndoChoice will receive the same consideration paid to stockholders who participated in the tender offer. The total equity value is approximately $210 million and the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016 subject to customary closing conditions.

A press release can be found from Boston Scientific website.

Researchers develop new weapon for hard-to-treat bacterial infections

Health workers may soon have a new weapon in the fight against abscesses—difficult-to-treat bacterial infections that lead to millions of emergency-room visits every year.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia successfully prevented drug-resistant bacteria from forming abscesses, or painful pus-filled lesions, using a peptide, or mini-protein. The peptide worked by disrupting the bacteria’s stress response.

Abscesses are bacterial-induced lesions that are responsible for 3.2 million emergency room visits every year in the United States. Because antibiotics seldom work on them, standard treatment for abscesses involves cutting out the infected tissue or draining it.

Full story is available from UBC wesite.

New technique generates human neural stem cells for tissue engineering, 3D brain models

Tufts University researchers have discovered a new technique for generating rapidly-differentiating human neural stem cells for use in a variety of tissue engineering applications, including a three-dimensional model of the human brain, according to a paper published today in Stem Cell Reports. The work could pave the way for experiments that engineer other innervated tissues, such as the skin and cornea, and for the development of human brain models with diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

Researchers converted human fibroblasts and adipose-derived stem cells into stable, human induced neural stem cell (hiNSC) lines that acquire the features of active neurons within as few as four days, compared to the typical four weeks, according to the paper. The neural stem cells are hardy, can be frozen, passaged indefinitely, and have unique attributes that allow them to grow well in vitro with other cell types, such as skeletal muscle. When injected into an early stage chicken embryo, the hiNSCs incorporated into the brain as well as the neurons of the peripheral nervous system that innervate tissues in a developing limb.

Full story is available from Tufts University website.