A new heat-sensitive gel and glue combo is a major step forward for cardiovascular surgery, enabling blood vessels to be reconnected without puncturing them with a needle and thread. It represents the biggest change to vascular suturing in 100 years, according to Stanford University Medical Center researchers.
This ersatz lung, no bigger than a multivitamin, could represent a new pharmaceutical testing method. On it, researchers have created an artificial alveolus, one of the sacs in the lungs where oxygen crosses a membrane to enter the body’s blood vessels. A polymer sheet that stands in for the membrane is in the blue strip. On one side of the sheet, blood-vessel cells mimic a capillary wall; on the other, lung-cancer cells mimic lung epithelial cells.
In the U.S., people needing a new lung wait more than a year on average for an organ. That’s often too long—237 people on the transplant list died in 2009. Recent advances in cell regeneration, however, could someday allow a patient to “donate” a healthy lung to himself in just a month.
If Superman and Stretch Armstrong produced offspring in some hideous experiment, they might hope to create a new, upgraded iron alloy with super-elastic powers which allow it to keep its original shape even after stretching. Now Japanese researchers have done just that with added bonuses such as better ductility and a change in magnetization, Reuters reports. That may lead to better surgical interventions and even quake-proof structures.
Lightning bolts may not bring Frankenstein to life, but their blood vessel-like patterns could form the foundation for artificial organs. That would rely on a known lab trick that imprints electricity patterns inside plastic blocks.
It's known that driving a nail into one end of an electrically charged block results in an electric discharge running throughout the plastic. PopSci previously examined this process of trapping lightning, so to speak.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.