For the first time, scientists have used light pulses to control a living animal's heartbeat, in a breakthrough that could lead to a greater understanding of congenital heart defects and even optical pacemakers.
Researchers led by Michael Jenkins at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio placed a laser fiber a millimeter away from a two-day-old quail embryo's heart. Using laser pulses, they were able to pace the heart's contractions, with no apparent damage to the developing tissue.
By Carina StorrsPosted 08.17.2009 at 11:52 am 0 Comments
Open Heart Surgery
Roger W. Winstead
This is a pig heart, procured from a slaughterhouse, beating on a heart-pumping machine called the Heart Cart. Because pig hearts share many anatomical similarities with humans', scientists often use them to test new medical devices and surgical procedures. Instead of operating on the entire, living hog, which costs about $2,500 for each experiment, the Heart Cart lets researchers work on just the hearts, dropping that cost to $25, by pumping them with a saline solution to make the heart valves move realistically.