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Miniaturized optical coherence tomography imaging probe takes pictures inside cerebral arteries

A large international team of micro-engineers, medical technologists, and neurosurgeons, has designed, built and tested a new type of probe that can be used to take pictures from inside arteries in the brain.

In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes how the probe was designed and created and how well it has performed during initial testing.

When patients develop medical problems in their brains, such as clots, aneurysms or hardened arteries, the tools available to doctors to diagnose them are limited to imaging technology that takes pictures of veins and arteries from an outside-of-the-brain view. Such images are then used as maps to direct catheter-like devices through veins and arteries into and through parts of the brain to make repairs.

The problem with such an approach is that the imagery used is not always clear, or precise. It also does not allow the surgeon to see what is happening inside of the vein or artery as it is being repaired, resulting in semi-blind procedures.

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