Product Spotlight

By Steve Barrett
Saturday, September 1, 2018

AngelMed Guardian System

The AngelMed Guardian System provides certain cardiac patients with warnings about signs of serious cardiac events, including coronary artery occlusions.

The FDA-approved device, implanted under local anesthetic, can detect rapid ST segment changes, according to New Jersey-based Angel Medical Systems. It is indicated for use by patients who have previously experienced myocardial infarctions or unstable angina and are at high risk for further acute coronary syndromes, the company states in a news release.

Using vibrations as well as visual and auditory functions, the device alerts patients to a possible cardiac event even absent symptoms, says David R. Fischell, PhD, CEO of Angel Medical Systems. It offers “more effective diagnosis of a life-threatening condition when compared to patient symptoms alone,” he adds.

Heart disease kills more than 600,000 Americans annually, according to the CDC.

Advancing Transplant Liver Storage

Fewer livers intended for transplantation had to be discarded, and tissue quality was better when the livers were stored using a device that maintains them at body temperature rather than in a cold solution, according to a study published in Nature.

The metra device from England-based manufacturer OrganOx holds promise for increasing the supply of livers, transplant experts say.

A separate article in Nature explains that the metra supplies oxygenated blood to the liver, as well as nutrients and anti-clotting drugs.

In a clinical trial, an enzyme linked to organ damage was 50 percent lower on average among recipients of livers stored using the metra than among those whose transplanted livers had been stored on ice. Further, the discard rate was twice as high for ice-preserved livers.

Fight Against Cancer Heats Up

Bolstering the ability of targeted cancer immunotherapy to fight malignant tumors is the aim of a group of bioengineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The scientists programmed a “switch” into T-cells, enabling the cells to activate when a remote control turns on the heat-sensitive switch. Researchers altered T-cells so that when the switch is turned on, the cells express certain proteins at more than 200 times the normal level. This capability has implications for guiding the cells’ ability to fight cancer, according to a news release from Georgia Tech.

With the switch off, the T-cells were added to tumors that were implanted in mice. Tiny, gold nanorods in the tumors then received light waves from a laser, generating mild heat to warm the tumor and turn on the switch.

Further studies will attempt to treat aggressive tumors with this approach, the scientists say.

The findings appear in ACS Synthetic Biology.