Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Glow in the dark surgery

As most of our mothers tell us, we all have a little light within us. We should really let it shine.

Whether that little light inside is real or not I don’t know. But now researchers are investigating a way to truly light us up from within.

A new fluorescent liquid is being developed by the University of California's San Diego School of Medicine. When the liquid is injected  into a patient it makes the nerves glow. This way the nerves are ten times more visible than with the naked eye alone. It can help surgeons from accidentally nicking nerves during surgery.

The glowing substance helps to provide a clear and accurate map of the patients inside nervous system.

If we could only wear this look to parties. We’d be the coolest ones in the room.

One current method for avoiding nerve damage during surgery is  electromyographic monitoring. It uses electrodes to locate major nerves but small ones go undetected.

Another, even less accurate strategy is for surgeons to avoid nerves based solely on their knowledge of the human body. This method leads to problems as nerve placement can vary from one person to the next. 

According to the Daily Mail the substance has been used successfully on mice with no known side effects.
It has not been tried on human patients as of yet. But if it can be proved successful in humans a large majority of accident nerve damage can be avoided.