The intersection of technology and medicine is nothing new as doctors and researchers have searched for more ways to understand the human body. It is because of technology that the largest leaps in innovation and understanding have happened, like the elucidation of DNA’s double helix. While we have collected reams and reams of data culled from the research sector, science is desirous of knowing how the body works in a living, breathing patient. This is possible through imaging technology and today’s level of clarity can produce visualization of micro-circulation using in vivo imaging.
The various levels of functionality that we can see through different imaging technology ranges from x-rays and CAT scans, to MRI machines. In vivo, which literally translates to in the living is a novel and exciting way to watch the body as it operates naturally.
Being able to get more and more clarity out of images has proven to be beneficial in catching a multitude of illnesses. Cancer is one disease that patients benefit greatly from having an early diagnosis. With the newest MRI scanners doctors are able to detect tumors that would otherwise be much too small to detect by traditional methods.
The ability to visualize micro circulation is an incredible boon in elucidating how certain structures in the body work that would otherwise have been too small to observe well. These structures include areas like the inner ear and ear drum. vivo s1
Without a method to visualize, scientists could not have found out how integral microcirculation is in overall cochlear function. Through experiments they were even able to surmise that certain sounds, whether loud or soft, altered blood flow.
We already know that circulation is vital to keep organs alive, but the passage of blood appears to do much more in certain areas. Consisting of capillaries and arterioles, these smaller blood passages are completely imbedded in areas of smooth muscle as well as organs.
They are responsible for the regulation of a number of issues including keeping an area infused with blood, blood pressure, oxygen and nutrient delivery as well as the removal of toxins, body temperature, and inflammation or swelling.
The methods to find these results vary, but using an injected dye that is fluorescent and coupling that with an imaging technology like an endoscopy has given some great results. Fluorescence microscopy is both safe and minimally invasive, but that is only way in which to visualize microcirculation such as confocal laser microscopy.
The application of this technology goes beyond just being observational; it can have lasting impacts in the field of research. The structural changes under diabetic conditions are able to be found because of this work, making it immensely important in the future.