New Device to See the Heart Better

Angiography allows cardiologists to examine blood vessels for constricted regions by injecting them with a contrast agent before X-raying them. But because plaque does not always result in constricted vessels, angiography can miss dangerous buildups of plaque. Intravascular ultrasound can penetrate the buildup to identify depth but lacks the ability to identify some of the finer details about risk of plaque rupture. Professor Laura Marcu''s lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis has now combined intravascular ultrasound with fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIm) in a single catheter probe that can image the tiny arteries of a living heart.
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