NEWS particles


Compiled by Mark DeSorbo

Clearant conquers

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Clinical findings presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons shows that patients who received human tissue allograft implants treated with the Clearant, Inc. Process—a new pathogen inactivation method—were not likely to acquire a bacterial and viral infection.

According to the study's principal investigator, Dr. Warren King of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, the performance evaluation shows that the Process-treated implants had an "excellent clinical outcome as measured by a standard set of orthopedic tests and rehabilitation benchmarks."

In this prospective study, 50 patients received ACL reconstruction surgery (a procedure to repair a tear in the ligament that connects the thighbone to the shinbone) using Achilles tendons that had been bacterially sterilized and virally inactivated using either the gamma irradiation-based Clearant Process or traditionally aseptically processed tissue implants.

Over the past two decades, a number of serious and even deadly diseases have been shown to be transmissible through tissue allografts, including HIV, hepatitis C, and West Nile Virus. The Clearant Process is designed for allograft tissue in the final container, thereby allowing the final product to be "terminally sterilized" for use in the operating room. Rigorous validation studies have demonstrated that even the most resistant strains of bacteria are inactivated by the Clearant Process. In addition, Clearant has demonstrated inactivation of both enveloped and non-enveloped viruses.

Titanic Touch

AUSTIN, Texas—In response to the rapid growth of demand for touch components in global markets, Touch International has expanded its business operations to new corporate headquarters here.

With close to 22,000 square feet of new manufacturing space, Touch's capacity is expected to increase by 400 percent and will allow the company to operate three full shifts each day.

The move is part of Touch International's strategic manufacturing expansion plan, with future planned replication of two other custom solutions centers in Europe and the Pacific Rim. Touch also has manufacturing facilities in Japan and Malaysia.

At the new production facility, employees are assembling Digital Ink, a thin, form-fitting, unbreakable touch screen. This recently announced touch technology brings the functionality of a touch screen to any material, including a window storefront, tabletop, or bullet-proof glass.

Shenzhen strategy

OXFORDSHIRE, England—Bookham Technology plc continues to prepare for the opening of its advanced manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China, a measure that is part of its Asia Pacific strategy that has yielded revenue growth in the last two years

The factory was obtained through Bookham's recent acquisition of New Focus Inc., and covers 250,000 square feet of space that includes classified cleanrooms. The plant will be a key assembly and test facility, company representatives say. The first products to be manufactured in Shenzhen will be transmitter optical assemblies (TOAs) and receiver optical assemblies (ROAs), simple amplifiers and connectors.

Asia Pacific a hot spot for fabs

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.—New fab activity will exceed $26 billion this year, and of the $113 billion of new fabs starting construction between 2000 and 2004, 53 percent are in Asia Pacific, according to research firm Stategic Marketing Associates (SMA;

Asia-Pacific's strength is due to the concentration of DRAM manufacturers and foundries in the region. China, which accounted for only 2 percent of the world's fabs in the period 1995 to 1999, will account for 15 percent in the period 2000 to 2004. Since 2002, most new fabs starting construction are 300-mm.

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The SMA study finds that even though we are at the beginning of a fab building boom, the industry is still equipping fabs that were built in the last boom period.