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Santa Clara Valley Chapter


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FALL 1997 PRESENTATIONS



SEPTEMBER 17, 1997

Development of Minimally Invasive Bypass Surgery -- An Engineering Perspective

Bill Aldrich
Director, Product Development
CardioThoracic Systems, Inc.


For the past twenty years, traditional bypass surgery has been successful in treating coronary artery disease. This procedure can result in serious complications, including brain damage and long recovery times. Over the past few years, several surgeons began work on less invasive methods of fixing blocked coronary arteries that would reduce these complications. In the last year, Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass (MIDCABTM) has become the most prevalent form of these surgeries.

The development of MIDCAB from an engineering perspective is an interesting tale of vague surgical requirements, conflicting engineering parameters, and tight deadlines. In this talk, Bill Aldrich will describe the development of this procedure and the instrumentation.

Bill Aldrich obtained his BSME from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He has 14 years of experience developing products for magnetic recording and medical devices. His focus has been on dynamic mechanical structures and novel medical devices. Bill holds 13 patents in the magnetic recording and medical fields. He is the Director of Product Development for CardioThoracic Systems, Inc., and is responsible for the development of minimally invasive coronary artery surgery equipment.



OCTOBER 15, 1997

The X-ray Photon and the Computer Byte:
Rumor has it They're Negotiating Some Kind of Deal

M. D. Wright
Program Manager
Varian Associates, Inc.


It has long been the dream of forward-looking radiologists that the creators of advanced technology would invent a replacement for the most common medical imaging detector, x-ray film. What is needed is an electronic imager of medical x-rays. At electronic speeds, an image would be displayed instantaneously upon exposure. With image data in electronic form, optical juke boxes would replace warehouses for data storage. Via modem technology, images taken in remote areas by general practitioners could be transmitted to expert radiologists for advice. Sophisticated pattern recognition algorithms could allow computer diagnosis of disease.

In recent years, a new amorphous silicon technology has emerged which has the potential to produce the desired electronic imager of x-rays. This technology holds not only the promise to replace x-ray film, but also has the potential to replace the fluoroscope. The fluoroscope is an electronic imager of x-rays that provides low spatial resolution images (and is therefore not competitive with film) at video frame rates. The presentation by Dr. Wright will describe the new technology. The physics of operation and the capabilities of the technology in comparison with film and the fluoroscope will be discussed. Information regarding commercialization will also be presented.

Dr. M.D. Wright received his B.S. degree from the Department of Physics at the University of Redlands in 1974, and the Ph.D. from the Department of Applied Physics at Stanford in 1981. He first was employed at Philips Research Laboratory in Sunnyvale, where he investigated topics in silicon device physics. In 1987 he moved to Varian Corporate Research Center and became the technical leader of a team developing aluminum gallium arsenide charge coupled devices for an imaging application. In 1990, he began his research in the area of amorphous silicon medical imagers. Dr. Wright is currently a Program Manager at Varian Imaging Devices, a new Varian business unit.



NOVEMBER 19, 1997

DNA Arrays using Sequencing By Hybridization ("SBH") Technology

Radomir Crkvenjakov
Hyseq, Inc.
Sunnyvale, CA


Hyseq, Inc. applies the proprietary DNA array technology of its integrated genomics platform (the "HyX Platform") to develop gene-based therapeutic product candidates and diagnostic products and tests. The HyX Platform uses sequencing by hybridization ("SBH") technology. The company's strategy is to engage in large-scale gene discovery and to establish collaborations to facilitate development and commercialization activities. The HyX Platform includes three software-driven modules. The Gene Discovery Module is designed to screen or sequence large numbers of human DNA samples (typically 30,000 to 50,000 samples per batch) for gene discovery, gene function analysis and genomic experimentation. The HyGnostics Module is designed to screen or sequence small to medium numbers of DNA samples (typically 10 to 1000 samples per batch) for diagnostic applications, including DNA testing of genetic and infectious disease and cancer. The Hychip Module is designed to screen or sequence DNA samples in a single reaction with a capacity ranging in size from the detection of single base mutations to the sequencing of entire viral genomes. In his presentation, Dr. Crkvenjakov will describe the technology of the HyX Platform.

Dr. Radomir Crkvenjakov received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University and conducted post-doctoral studies at the University of Heidelberg. He was at the Institute for Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering, Belgrade, Yugoslavia from May 1986 until February 1991, where he co-invented SBH technology. Dr. Crkvenjakov served as Senior Molecular Biologist and Group Leader at Argonne National Laboratory from February 1991 until August 1994. He then joined Hyseq, Inc., where he serves as Co-Senior Vice President for Research and as a Director.



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