Microtek Medical Announces Development of New Exact Tray System

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Microtek Medical Holdings, Inc. announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary Microtek Medical, Inc., a leader in fluid and infection control products for the healthcare industry, introduced its new precision needle guidance system at the recent conference of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Microtek will showcase this system at the upcoming Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting from December 1-5, 2002. The Exact system has the potential to revolutionize ultrasound-assisted procedures by dramatically improving accuracy, safety, sterility and reliability. With this introduction, biopsies, cyst aspirations, and amniocentesis are now not only safer, more reliable and easier, but also more accurate, thus less invasive. The company estimates that there are more than 4.1 million procedures performed annually in the United States that will potentially benefit from the introduction of this system.

According to the American Journal of Roentgenology, a noted journal for medical imaging, ultrasound-guided biopsy is underutilized due to a perceived lack of "safety, reliability and accuracy." Microtek's Exact system addresses these challenges with three major advances in needle guidance technology, which has remained virtually unchanged for 17 years.

Bundled in a convenient, sterile, self-contained tray, Microtek's Exact system includes everything necessary to perform more accurate ultrasound-assisted in vivo procedures. The Exact system introduces these three advances:

1. Amedic Pathfinder-- This new, FDA-approved precision needle guide is clinically designed to make the sonographer's job easier. At the same time, it makes procedures safer and more accurate. Amedic Pathfinder's procedure-driven design offers:

* simple dial-up needle selector

* secure precision tracking which stabilizes needle

* steeper needle angle enables more direct path

* easy release and re-engagement of needles

* quick and easy attachment to probes

* faster prep time-no assembly or waste as with snap-off parts

2. VivoSonic Gel -- Microtek is introducing the first and only in-vivo biocompatible and biodegradable sterile couplant (gel) specifically formulated for diagnostic ultrasound. During invasive or endocavity procedures, gel can inadvertently spill into the exam site. VivoSonic Gel can be used with confidence during surgery, biopsy or aspiration procedures, because there is no potential for in vivo incompatibility. This is key in controlling patient safety and helping to prevent toxic reactions.

And while gels currently on the market have been shown to corrupt samples, there is no contamination with VivoSonic Gel, the only in-vivo biocompatible and biodegradable gel on the market. VivoSonic Gel is also available separately from Microtek, and promises improved safety and sterility in many medical applications.

3. Echogenie Needles -- The coating on these needles, applied by STS Biopolymers, Inc. and patented as ECHO-COAT coating, traps thousands of microscopic air bubbles, acting as highly efficient reflectors of ultrasound waves. Echogenie represents the industry's one truly echogenic needle. This means that, for the first time ever, the entire needle is visible in the monitor, at any angle, enabling a more direct path. This valuable new visibility allows the use of smaller needles, making ultrasound in-vivo procedures less invasive and more comfortable for the patient. Winner of the 2001 Excellence Award for Medical Design, this exciting component of the ExactTM system improves safety, precision and reliability, and helps eliminate redraws. Echogenie Needles are color-coded for easy identification, and the core needles fit most popular reusable biopsy guns. (Each Exact tray comes with needle receptacles designed into the mold; procedure-appropriate needles are ordered separately.)

Microtek's vice president of marketing Dennis Watts explained, "The Exact system is a very exciting development in ultrasound-assisted procedure. Like all of Microtek's products, the focus is on innovation, increased clinical efficacy and patient safety. The Exact system was designed with extensive clinical input, so it is not surprising that its clinical acceptance is quite high. The system offers improved safety, accuracy, ease of use and cost effectiveness, which is why we expect it to become the new standard."

Included in the sealed sterile tray are the Amedic PathFinder, a tube of VivoSonic Gel, a Microtek IsoSilk latex-free probe cover and an assortment of antiseptic wipes and bandages. Appropriate Echogenie Needles will arrive with the tray.

Source: PRNewswire