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Medicine Power Science Technology

World's Tiniest Radiometer To Power Medical Scanner 37

BuzzSkyline writes "University of Texas physicists have built the world's smallest radiometer. The minuscule radiometer is only 2 millimeters across and operates on the same principles as the common light-driven toy, which consists of spinning black and white vanes in a partially evacuated bulb. The researchers attached a mirror to their tiny radiometer and used it to rapidly scan a laser beam. Their hope is that they will be able to incorporate the radiometer into catheters to drive scanners that produce medical images of the interiors of blood vessels and organs. The devices would replace micromotors in conventional catheter-based scanners, eliminating the need to run potentially risky electrical currents into the body."
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World's Tiniest Radiometer To Power Medical Scanner

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  • But... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EdIII ( 1114411 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @09:54PM (#32789488)

    eliminating the need to run potentially risky electrical currents into the body.

    But.. But.. The fine folks at Taser International Inc say there is no risk!

    I'm confused.

  • by kurokame ( 1764228 ) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @01:53AM (#32790310)

    At first this "Because there's obviously no sunlight in the body, this light-mill pulls its power from a laser run up through the center of the catheter." seemed rather silly. When you already have a cable why not use that to get all the power you want? But later on the articles mentions that blood vessels really don't like anything above one volt.

    Also, the optical approach means that the concept can be adapted for use while the patient is inside an MRI. Wire-free is often handy when you're building neat toys for medical use.

    I'm sad though, everyone seems to have missed the best line. This new device is a power source, right?

    ... he hopes the micromotor will eventually find uses in cancer imaging.

    "It has yet to realize its full potential," said Condit.

    Get it? Get it? Oh, c'mon, the pun wasn't THAT bad...

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra