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Welcome to OMNInews from Omnica Corporation, a full-service product design and engineering firm located in Irvine, California.
Enjoy our selection of remarkable news, timely topics, and stay up-to-date with what's new at Omnica.                         

Ron Sully - Director of Marketing 

December 2017
  Top Ten Medical Innovations for 2018 - For each of the last 15 years, the Cleveland Clinic has interviewed 100 of their experts and researchers to reach a consensus on what they believe will be the top 10 medical innovations in the coming year. To be considered for nomination, the transformative technology in question has to meet certain criteria. It must: provide significant clinical impact and quantifiable patient benefit compared to current practices, have a high probability of commercial success, present significant human interest in its application, and it should either be in or exiting clinical trials and subsequently be available on the market in the coming year.

One innovation that is expected to impact many in 2018 is the first hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system (discussed in OMNInews last November). Patients with Type 1 Diabetes who use the artificial pancreas will no longer have to test their glucose levels 4 to 5 times per day and inject insulin manually. The system consists of an insulin pump that communicates with an integrated continuous glucose monitoring device which performs testing and dispensing automatically. 

Other soon to be available technologies are an implant that synchronizes air intake and the action of the tongue to offer a better night's sleep for apnea patients, gene therapy for some rare forms of retinal disease, newly developed targeted breast cancer therapies, and new strategies for reducing LDL cholesterol.

One technology I thought particularly encouraging is a cooling cap for chemotherapy patients that effectively reduces hair loss. I have a friend who is getting chemo (unfortunately a lot of us know others facing the same challenge), and hair loss is a side effect that serves as a reminder of her predicament even when she is having a good day.

Scalp cooling reduces the temperature of the scalp before, during, and after chemotherapy. It causes vasoconstriction in cutaneous tissues and lowers biochemical activity, which inhibits the uptake of chemotherapeutic agents in the hair follicles. It was FDA approved in May. Follow this link to see the full list of promising medical technology innovations in 2018.
  Handheld Pen Identifies Cancer in Seconds - Analyzing biological samples via mass  spectrometry seems to be gaining acceptance in diagnostics. We've worked on at least 4 projects that involve the technology so far, and another is in the works. It is a method that uses molecular weight to identify the biological profile of tissue samples.
The cancer detecting pen is such a device. It is being developed by the University of Texas at Austin, and uses mass spectrometry to identify molecular profiles of metabolites, lipids, and proteins that have been characterized as potential cancer biomarkers. It could revolutionize the way cancer surgeries are performed.

Typically, when surgeons remove a tumor they also excise some surrounding tissue (which could be healthy) as a margin to be sure they got it all. It is an inexact procedure, complicated by the necessity to wait 30 minutes of more for confirming lab results. Meanwhile the patient is either under continued anesthesia, or has been discharged from the operating room to be possibly called back later for another procedure.

As an alternative, the "MasSpec Pen®" releases a droplet of water on the excised margin where it collects biomolecules from the tissue and analyzes them in a few seconds to determine if the particles are cancerous or not. In this way, living tissue can be tested without harm or removing it from the body, which allows the surgeon to be less invasive and much more precise.
In studies so far, the diagnosis takes about 10 seconds and is more than 96% accurate. The results compare favorably with traditional frozen sectional analysis lab testing. The cancer detecting pen is in early testing phases, but it could be several years before the technology is ready for the operating room. Until then, limit your sun exposure.

Networking and Trade Show Events

  Medical Design and Manufacturing Show - This venerable and all-inclusive trade show  combines every aspect of design and manufacturing in the medical device sector. It will be held from February 6 - 8 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The show is huge, with over 2000 suppliers and more visitors that you can count. Consider attending if you are developing a medical device or next-gen product for manufacturing and marketing. We will available for discussion in Hall D, space 2582.

  Learn From the Experts at Med Tech Monday -If you are interested in hearing experts discuss the latest medical device innovations, investment insights, and where the industry is headed in the coming year, consider attending this third installment of Med Tech Monday. The informative and well-attended one day medical device conference will be held at the Avenue of the Arts Hotel in Costa Mesa on January 22. Use the discount code, OMNICA, when registering.

OMNICA News and Announcements . . .  
  Mechanical Engineer Employment Opportunity    
We have two preconditions:
1) At least 5 years healthcare product development experience.
2) Applicants should live within a reasonable commuting distance from our facility in Irvine.
Note: We typically consider recent graduates and newly experienced applicants, but for this opportunity we need an engineer who has the requisite experience for the advanced types of projects we are currently facing. 
       Minimum requirements
  • Exceptional Solidworks® 3D CAD proficiency
  • Experience working on projects either alone or in small groups.
  • Accomplished knowledge of materials, plastics, metals, and processes
  • Familiarity with FDA regulated medical device development
  • If this sounds good and you are interested, please email your resume.
  Hydraulic Ankle Improves Comfort, Balance and Confidence - In 2013 we completed work on an adjustable hydraulic ankle prosthesis for Freedom Innovations. It was finished and manufactured in time for survivors of the Boston Marathon Bombing to take advantage of our efforts and those of our client company. See image at right. 
Four years later we've completed work on the second generation K2 Hydraulic ankle. We were recently contacted by Freedom Innovations, who thanked us for our work in developing the new version, and acknowledgement that all of their new product requirements were achieved. The new design is more durable, costs less, supports heavier users, and still features the smooth operation of the original Kinterra Foot/Ankle System. The Kinterra version 2 will begin production in early 2018. 

   Omnica Calendar 2018 - The 2018 Omnica Calendar will be sent out shortly. If you want to organize your life, and be mildly entertained each month, be sure to send me your mailing address. Don't be late, I didn't order many extras this year.
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               Please Call:   Ron Sully - 949-472-0275

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   We are different than other product developers. Omnica is a full service high-tech design and engineering firm in business for 33 years. We have 29 full-time employees, and perform all design and engineering services in house, at our Irvine facility. Our specialty is developing medical devices for both start-up companies, large firms like Terumo, Abbott, BD, Medtronic, Allergan, J&J, Thermo Fisher, Alcon, Biomerieux, and others.