Monday, September 03, 2007

Dr. McCoy, you dropped your gadget

One of the staple items on Star Trek was the array of devices Dr. McCoy had to repair internal injuries without the need to open up the patient. (In the original series, some of those devices were (this is true) fancy salt shakers.)
It can take a while for science to catch up to science fiction, but University of Washington engineers and doctors from Harborview Medical Center are trying to perfect a small device which could seal punctured lungs using high-intensity ultrasound. The first successful proof-of-concept experiment has already been done. Human trials have not begun, but the device offers promise for a host of uses if the technique of focusing ultrasonic beams to create a "hot spot" and cauterize leaks is proven to work on lung injuries.

No comments: